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p. 31


1. A woman is not independent, the males are her masters. It has been declared in the Veda, 'A female who neither goes naked nor is temporarily unclean is paradise.' 1

2. Now they quote also (the following verse): 'Their fathers protect them in childhood, their husbands protect them in youth, and their sons protect them in age; a woman is never fit for independence.' 2

3. The penance (to be performed) by a (wife) for being unfaithful to her husband has been declared in the (section on) secret penances. 3

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4. For month by month the menstrual excretion takes away her sins. 4

5. A woman in her courses is impure during three (days and) nights. 5

6. (During that period) she shall not apply collyrium to her eyes, nor anoint (her body), nor bathe in water; she shall sleep on the ground; she shall not sleep in the day-time, nor touch the fire, nor make a rope, nor clean her teeth, nor eat meat, nor look at the planets, nor smile, nor busy herself with (house-hold affairs), nor run; she shall drink out of a large vessel, or out of her joined hands, or out of a copper vessel. 6

7. For it has been declared in the Veda, 'When Indra had slain (Vritra) the three-headed son of Tvashtri, he was seized by Sin, and he considered himself to be tainted with exceedingly great guilt. All beings cried out against him (saying to him), 7

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[paragraph continues] 'O thou slayer of a learned Brâhmana! O thou slayer of a learned Brâhmana!' He ran to the women for protection (and said to them), 'Take upon yourselves the third part of this my guilt (caused by) the murder of a learned Brâhmana.' They answered, ''What shall we have (for doing thy wish)?' He replied, 'Choose a boon.' They said, 'Let us obtain offspring (if our husbands approach us) during the proper season, at pleasure let us dwell (with our husbands until (our children) are born.' He answered, 'So be it.' (Then) they took upon themselves (the third part of his guilt). That guilt of Brâhmana-murder appears every month as the menstrual flow. Therefore let him not eat the food of a woman in her courses; (for) such a one has put on the shape of the guilt of Brâhmana-murder.

8. (Those who recite the Veda) proclaim the following (rule): 'Collyrium and ointment must not be accepted from her; for that is the food of women. Therefore they feel a loathing for her (while she is) in that (condition, saying), "She shall not approach."' 8

9. 'Those (Brâhmanas in) whose (houses) menstruating women sit, those who keep no sacred fire, 9

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and those in whose family there is no Srotriya; all these are equal to Sûdras.'


31:1 V. Vishnu XXV, 12. The second clause ought to have been given as a separate Sûtra. 'A female who no longer goes naked,' i.e. one who has reached the age of puberty. Amritam, 'is paradise,' i.e. procures bliss in this life and heaven after death through her children.

31:2 Vishnu XXV, 13. Identical with Manu IX, 3.

31:3 'The penance which has been ordained in case a wife is unfaithful to her husband, i.e. goes to a lover and so forth, must be performed in secret, i.e. in solitary places.'--Krishnapandita. The explanation is clearly erroneous. Rahasyeshu cannot mean 'in secret' or 'in secret places.' It might refer either to a. work or works called Rahasyâni or to the rahasyâni prâyaskittâni. As p. 32 the next Sûtra contains a half-verse taken from the section on secret penances, XXVIII, 4, it is evident that Vasishtha here makes a cross-reference. Similar cross-references occur further on.

32:4gñavalkya I, 72, and below, XXVIII, 4.

32:5 Vishnu XXII, 72.

32:6 Taitt. Samh. II, 5, I, 6-7. I read with the majority of the MSS., grahânna nirîksheta instead of grihân na niriksheta, which latter phrase Krishnapandita renders by 'she shall not look out of the house.' My reading is confirmed by his quotation from the Smritimañgarî, where grahânâm nirîkshanam, 'looking at the planets, i.e. the sun, moon,' &c., is forbidden. 'A large vessel,' i.e. an earthen jar.--Krishnapandita.

32:7 Taitt. Sarah. II, 5, I, 2-5. The name 'slayer of a learned Brâhmana' is applied to Indra, because Vritra is said to have been deeply versed in the Vedas. Regarding the 'proper season of women,' see Manu III, 46-48. In the clause 'That guilt of Brâhmana-murder appears,' &c., I read âvir bhavati with the majority of the MSS. For the prohibition to accept food from a-ragasvalâ, see Vishnu LI, 16-17.

33:8 Taitt. Sarah. II, 5, 1, 6. I read the text of this Sûtra as follows: 'Tadâhuh--añganâbhyañganam evâsyâ na pratigrâhyam taddhi striyâ annam iti--tasmât tasyai ka tatra ka bîbhatsante meyam upâgâd iti.' The MSS. give the following readings in the second clause: tasmât tasmai ka (B. Bh. E. F,), tatra na (F.), medhamupâgâd (Bh. F.), medha upâgâd (E.), seyamupâgâd (B.) Krishnapandita follows as usually MS. B. His explanation of the whole Sûtra is erroneous. 'That is the food of women,' i.e. that is as necessary to women as their food, because to beautify themselves is one of their duties.

33:9 The meaning of the Sûtra is that a Brâhmanical beggar must not accept any alms from Brâhmanas whose wives are in their p. 34 courses, who keep no sacred fire, and do not attend to the duty of Veda-study. Regarding sinners of the latter two kinds, see also Âpastamba I, 6, 18, 32-33.

Next: Chapter VI