MANU ON PROPERTY RIGHTS OF WOMEN (Post No.7042)

WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

swami_48@yahoo.com

Date: 1 OCTOBER 2019

British Summer Time uploaded in London – 16-15

Post No. 7042

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I HAVE COVERED UP TO 9-55 SO FAR. LET ME CONTINUE FROM 9-56 TODAY. Last post was on 18th July 2019.

INTERESTING POINTS IN THIS SECTION—

SLOKAS 56 TO 70

Appointing another man to get a child- it is called Niyoga or in Latin levirate. We see such practice in Mahabharata when Vichitravirya died without children. But commentators point out the confusion and contradictory statements in this section.

My comments : There are interpolations in this section.

Sloka 71

When you promise a girl to a man don’t go back on your words

Sloka 74

Very interesting; if you don’t  arrange for food and basic things for your wife while you go on a long journey, she will runaway with someone.

Divorce rules

If a man doen’t come back within 8 years , she is free

If your wife hates you for more than a year kick her out.

Oldest Tamil book Tolkappiam also ban Tamil women going overseas with her husband. So there is a waiting period, beyond which she can do what she wants to do.

Sloka 80-84 Drinking and Violent Wives

Interesting .

If your wife is barren for 8 years, you may leave her;

If all her children died , leave her in tenth year.

If your wife gives birth only to daughters, you may leave her in the eleventh year;

If a woman drinks and extravagant, leave her immediately.

88-94 Marriageable Age

Love marriage is not wrong – sloka 91

Age limits – sloka 94

WIFE IS GIFT FROM GOD; SUPPORTING A WOMAN PLEASES GOD- SLOKA 95

BRIDE PRICE – DON’T SELL YOUR DAUGHTER- SLOKA 97 TO 100

Chastity for men and women – slokas 101 and 102

Property rights – from sloka 9-104

What did Daksa do with 10+13+27= 50 daughters? sloka -129

He gave 10 daughters to Dharma;

13 daughters to Kasyapa;

27 daughters to Soma/ Moon

Sloka 137 to 139

Role of son, grand son and great grand son

Sloka 140- 142 – adopted son

DIVISION OF PROPERTY WITH FOUR WIVES- SLOKA 140

Rest of the slokas gives minute details of division of property.

 GETTING A CHILD THROUGH ANOTHER PERSON

9-57. The wife of an elder brother is for his younger (brother) the wife of a Guru; but the wife of the younger is declared (to be) the daughter-in-law of the elder.

58. An elder (brother) who approaches the wife of the younger, and a younger (brother who approaches) the wife of the elder, except in times of misfortune, both become outcasts, even though (they were duly) authorised.

59. On failure of issue (by her husband) a woman who has been authorised, may obtain, (in the) proper (manner prescribed), the desired offspring by (cohabitation with) a brother-in-law or (with some other) Sapinda (of the husband).


60. He (who is) appointed to (cohabit with) the widow shall (approach her) at night anointed with clarified butter and silent, (and) beget one son, by no means a second.

61. Some (sages), versed in the law, considering the purpose of the appointment not to have been attained by those two (on the birth of the first), think that a second (son) may be lawfully procreated on (such) women.

62. But when the purpose of the appointment to (cohabit with) the widow bas been attained in accordance with the law, those two shall behave towards each other like a father and a daughter-in-law.

63. If those two (being thus) appointed deviate from the rule and act from carnal desire, they will both become outcasts, (as men) who defile the bed of a daughter-in-law or of a Guru.



64. By twice-born men a widow must not be appointed to (cohabit with) any other (than her husband); for they who appoint (her) to another (man), will violate the eternal law.

65. In the sacred texts which refer to marriage the appointment (of widows) is nowhere mentioned, nor is the re-marriage of widows prescribed in the rules concerning marriage.

66. This practice which is reprehended by the learned of the twice-born castes as fit for cattle is said (to have occurred) even among men, while Vena ruled.

67. That chief of royal sages who formerly possessed the whole world, caused a confusion of the castes (varna), his intellect being destroyed by lust.

68. Since that (time) the virtuous censure that (man) who in his folly appoints a woman, whose husband died, to (bear) children (to another man).

69. If the (future) husband of a maiden dies after troth verbally plighted, her brother-in-law shall wed her according to the following rule.



70. Having, according to the rule, espoused her (who must be) clad in white garments and be intent on purity, he shall approach her once in each proper season until issue (be had).

71. Let no prudent man, after giving his daughter to one (man), give her again to another; for he who gives (his daughter) whom he had before given, incurs (the guilt of) speaking falsely regarding a human being.

72. Though (a man) may have accepted a damsel in due form, he may abandon (her if she be) blemished, diseased, or deflowered, and (if she have been) given with fraud.

73. If anybody gives away a maiden possessing blemishes without declaring them, (the bridegroom) may annul that (contract) with the evil-minded giver.


74. A man who has business (abroad) may depart after securing a maintenance for his wife; for a wife, even though virtuous, may be corrupted if she be distressed by want of subsistence.

75. If (the husband) went on a journey after providing (for her), the wife shall subject herself to restraints in her daily life; but if he departed without providing (for her), she may subsist by blameless manual work.

76. If the husband went abroad for some sacred duty, (she) must wait for him eight years, if (he went) to (acquire) learning or fame six (years), if (he went) for pleasure three years.



HATEFUL WIVES

77. For one year let a husband bear with a wife who hates him; but after (the lapse of) a year let him deprive her of her property and cease to cohabit with her.

78. She who shows disrespect to (a husband) who is addicted to (some evil) passion, is a drunkard, or diseased, shall be deserted for three months (and be) deprived of her ornaments and furniture.

79. But she who shows aversion towards a mad or outcast (husband), a eunuch, one destitute of manly strength, or one afflicted with such diseases as punish crimes, shall neither be cast off nor be deprived of her property.

80. She who drinks spirituous liquor, is of bad conduct, rebellious, diseased, mischievous, or wasteful, may at any time be superseded (by another wife).

81. A barren wife may be superseded in the eighth year, she whose children (all) die in the tenth, she who bears only daughters in the eleventh, but she who is quarrelsome without delay.



NEVER LEAVE A SICK WIFE WITHOUT HER CONSENT


82. But a sick wife who is kind (to her husband) and virtuous in her conduct, may be superseded (only) with her own consent and must never be disgraced.

83. A wife who, being superseded, in anger departs from (her husband’s) house, must either be instantly confined or cast off in the presence of the family.

84. But she who, though having been forbidden, drinks spirituous liquor even at festivals, or goes to public spectacles or assemblies, shall be fined six krishnalas.


MY COMMENTS- GOLD WEIGHING SIX KRISHNALAS??

85. If twice-born men wed women of their own and of other (lower castes), the seniority, honour, and habitation of those (wives) must be (settled) according to the order of the castes (varna).

86. Among all (twice-born men) the wife of equal caste alone, not a wife of a different caste by any means, shall personally attend her husband and assist him in his daily sacred rites.



87. But he who foolishly causes that (duty) to be performed by another, while his wife of equal caste is alive, is declared by the ancients (to be) as (despicable) as a Kandala (sprung from the) Brahmana (caste).

88. To a distinguished, handsome suitor (of) equal (caste) should (a father) give his daughter in accordance with the prescribed rule, though she have not attained (the proper age).

89. (But) the maiden, though marriageable, should rather stop in (the father’s) house until death, than that he should ever give her to a man destitute of good qualities.

90. Three years let a damsel wait, though she be marriageable; but after that time let her choose for herself a bridegroom (of) equal (caste and rank).



NOTHING WRONG IN LOVE MARRIAGE

91. If, being not given in marriage, she herself seeks a husband, she incurs no guilt, nor (does) he whom she weds.


92. A maiden who choses for herself, shall not take with her any ornaments, given by her father or her mother, or her brothers; if she carries them away, it will be theft.

93. But he who takes (to wife) a marriageable damsel, shall not pay any nuptial fee to her father; for the (latter) will lose his dominion over her in consequence of his preventing (the legitimate result of the appearance of) her enemies.

94. A man, aged thirty years, shall marry a maiden of twelve who pleases him, or a man of twenty-four a girl eight years of age; if (the performance of) his duties would (otherwise) be impeded, (he must marry) sooner.



WIFE IS A GIFT FROM GOD

95. The husband receives his wife from the gods, (he does not wed her) according to his own will; doing what is agreeable to the gods, he must always support her (while she is) faithful.


96. To be mothers were women created, and to be fathers men; religious rites, therefore, are ordained in the Veda to be performed (by the husband) together with the wife.

97. If, after the nuptial fee has been paid for a maiden, the giver of the fee dies, she shall be given in marriage to his brother, in case she consents.

98. Even a Sudra ought not to take a nuptial fee, when he gives away his daughter; for he who takes a fee sell his daughter, covering (the transaction by another name).



99. Neither ancients nor moderns who were good men have done such (a deed) that, after promising (a daughter) to one man, they have her to another;

100. Nor, indeed, have we heard, even in former creations, of such (a thing as) the covert sale of a daughter for a fixed price, called a nuptial fee.

101. ‘Let mutual fidelity continue until death,’ this may be considered as the summary of the highest law for husband and wife.



102. Let man and woman, united in marriage, constantly exert themselves, that (they may not be) disunited (and) may not violate their mutual fidelity.

103. Thus has been declared to you the law for a husband and his wife, which is intimately connected with conjugal happiness, and the manner of raising offspring in times of calamity; learn (now the law concerning) the division of the inheritance.

PROPERTY RIGHTS


104. After the death of the father and of the mother, the brothers, being assembled, may divide among themselves in equal shares the paternal (and the maternal) estate; for, they have no power (over it) while the parents live.

105. (Or) the eldest alone may take the whole paternal estate, the others shall live under him just as (they lived) under their father.

106. Immediately on the birth of his first-born a man is (called) the father of a son and is freed from the debt to the manes; that (son), therefore, is worthy (to receive) the whole estate.

107. That son alone on whom he throws his debt and through whom he obtains immortality, is begotten for (the fulfilment of) the law; all the rest they consider the offspring of desire.

108. As a father (supports) his sons, so let the eldest support his younger brothers, and let them also in accordance with the law behave towards their eldest brother as sons (behave towards their father).

109. The eldest (son) makes the family prosperous or, on the contrary, brings it to ruin; the eldest (is considered) among men most worthy of honour, the eldest is not treated with disrespect by the virtuous.



110. If the eldest brother behaves as an eldest brother (ought to do), he (must be treated) like a mother and like a father; but if he behaves in a manner unworthy of an eldest brother, he should yet be honoured like a kinsman.

111. Either let them thus live together, or apart, if (each) desires (to gain) spiritual merit; for (by their living) separate (their) merit increases, hence separation is meritorious.

112. The additional share (deducted) for the eldest shall be one-twentieth (of the estate) and the best of all chattels, for the middlemost half of that, but for the youngest one-fourth.



113. Both the eldest and the youngest shall take (their shares) according to (the rule just) stated (each of) those who are between the eldest and the youngest, shall have the share (prescribed for the) middlemost.

114. Among the goods of every kind the eldest shall take the best (article), and (even a single chattel) which is particularly good, as well as the best of ten (animals).

115. But among (brothers) equally skilled in their occupations, there is no additional share, (consisting of the best animal) among ten; some trifle only shall be given to the eldest as a token of respect.

116. If additional shares are thus deducted, one must allot equal shares (out of the residue to each); but if no deduction is made, the allotment of the shares among them shall be (made) in the following manner.



117. Let the eldest son take one share in excess, the (brother) born next after him one (share) and a half, the younger ones one share each; thus the law is settled.

118. But to the maiden (sisters) the brothers shall severally give (portions) out of their shares, each out of his share one-fourth part; those who refuse to give (it), will become outcasts.

119. Let him never divide (the value of) a single goat or sheep, or a (single beast) with uncloven hoofs; it is prescribed (that) a single goat or sheep (remaining after an equal division, belongs) to the eldest alone.

120. If a younger brother begets a son on the wife of the elder, the division must then be made equally; this the law is settled.

121. The representative (the son begotten on the wife) is not invested with the right of the principal (the eldest brother to an additional share); the principal (became) a father on the procreation (of a son by his younger brother); hence one should give a share to the (son begotten on the wife of the elder brother) according to the rule (stated above).

122. If there be a doubt, how the division shall be made, in case the younger son is born of the elder wife and the elder son of the younger wife,



123. (Then the son) born of the first wife shall take as his additional share one (most excellent) bull; the next best bulls (shall belong) to those (who are) inferior on account of their mothers.

124. But the eldest (son, being) born of the eldest wife, shall receive fifteen cows and a bull, the other sons may then take shares according to (the seniority of) their mothers; that is a settled rule.

125. Between sons born of wives equal (in caste) (and) without (any other) distinction no seniority in right of the mother exists; seniority is declared (to be) according to birth.



TWINS

126. And with respect to the Subrahmanya (texts) also it is recorded that the invocation (of Indra shall be made) by the first-born, of twins likewise, (conceived at one time) in the wombs (of their mothers) the seniority is declared (to depend) on (actual) birth.

SUBRAHMANYA VERSES ARE IN AITAREYA BRAHMANA 6-3

127. He who has no son may make his daughter in the following manner an appointed daughter (putrika, saying to her husband), ‘The (male) child, born of her, shall perform my funeral rites.’

128. According to this rule Daksha, himself, lord of created beings, formerly made (all his female offspring) appointed daughters in order to multiply his race.

129. He gave ten to Dharma, thirteen to Kasyapa, twenty-seven to King Soma, honouring (them) with an affectionate heart.

130. A son is even (as) oneself, (such) a daughter is equal to a son; how can another (heir) take the estate, while such (an appointed daughter who is even) oneself, lives?

131. But whatever may be the separate property of the mother, that is the share of the unmarried daughter alone; and the son of an (appointed) daughter shall take the whole estate of (his maternal grandfather) who leaves no son.



132. The son of an (appointed) daughter, indeed, shall (also) take the estate of his (own) father, who leaves no (other) son; he shall (then) present two funeral cakes to his own father and to his maternal grandfather.

133. Between a son’s son and the son of an (appointed) daughter there is no difference, neither with respect to worldly matters nor to sacred duties; for their father and mother both sprang from the body of the same (man).

134. But if, after a daughter has been appointed, a son be born (to her father), the division (of the inheritance) must in that (case) be equal; for there is no right of primogeniture for a woman.

135. But if an appointed daughter by accident dies without (leaving) a son, the husband of the appointed daughter may, without hesitation, take that estate.

136. Through that son whom (a daughter), either not appointed or appointed, may bear to (a husband) of equal (caste), his maternal grandfather (has) a son’s son; he shall present the funeral cake and take the estate.


ROLE OF SON, GRAND SON, GREAT GRAND SON


137. Through a son he conquers the worlds, through a son’s son he obtains immortality, but through his son’s grandson he gains the world of the sun.

138. Because a son delivers (trayate) his father from the hell called Put, he was therefore called put-tra (a deliverer from Put) by the Self-existent (Svayambhu) himself.

139. Between a son’s son and the son of a daughter there exists in this world no difference; for even the son of a daughter saves him (who has no sons) in the next world, like the son’s son.

140. Let the son of an appointed daughter first present a funeral cake to his mother, the second to her father, the funeral to his father’s father.

TO BE CONTINUED ………………………..