Essay - Hinduism Manusmriti in the Vedic Conception of the World, the...

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In the Vedic conception of ***** world, the attributions of men and women inside the family ***** in the society differ to the greatest extent. Accord*****g ***** the Laws ***** Manu, men have to respect the gods and various religious regulations. The women's main role however is ***** obey ***** male world: their fathers in the young age, their husb*****s once they are given into marriage and even their sons when ***** have reached an old age.

*****, the basic principle that guides the division between ***** male and the fe***** ***** is independence: in the Vedic world, ***** woman is not allowed to act independently. The text of the Laws of Manu emphasizes this idea over and over. Thus, it is imperatively stated that any woman ***** any age must obey her husb***** and the other men around her. She ***** forbidden thus ***** act independently, not only in society but in ***** own house as well: "147. By a girl, by a young woman, or ***** by an aged one, *****hing must be d***** in*****ependently, even in her own *****."

148. In childhood a fem*****le must be subject to ***** father, in youth to her **********d, when her lord is dead ***** ***** sons; a ***** ***** never be independent." The woman is made to obey only, as long as she lives, according to the Vedic tradition: "151. Him ***** whom her father may give her, or her brother with the father's permission, she shall obey as long as he lives, and w*****n he is dead, s***** must not insult (his memory)." It must be noted thus that the Laws of Manu were ***** as a guide on proper c*****duct ***** the duties of every individual according to the social class that they be*****ed *****. The idea ***** ***** hierarchy is therefore a central concept of Hinduism, and it pervades all the Vedic teachings. As such, it does not come as a surprise that the women as well are inscribed in a cert*****in social category ***** is considered to be inferior to that of men. ***** condition of the woman is obviously degrading in the ancient *****dian society. *****, she is ***** honored ***** any way for her own qualities or virtues, ***** only if ***** knows how to ***** ***** please ***** husband in all his wishes. Moreover, the wife ***** o*****y her husband ***** when the latter is nei*****r virtuous, nor faithful to her and ***** children: "154. Though destitute ***** virtue, or seeking pleasure (elsewhere), or devoid of good *****, (yet) a husband must be constantly worshipped as a god by a faithful wife." The justification that the laws offer for th***** unjust position attributed to women is that the ***** are naturally inclined to be heartless and un***** ***** their *****s: "15. Through ***** passion ***** men, through their mutable temper, through their natural heartlessness, they become disloyal towards their husbands, *****ever carefully they ***** be guarded in this (*****)." The *****feriority


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