Duties of householders ||95||
1-2aYajnavalkya said: -Hear me, O holy sages, describe the duties which are obligatory on a house-holder. A house holder, having made a money-gift to his preceptor, and having performed the rite of ceremonial ablution, shall wed a wife with all the auspicious marks on her person at the close of his life of ascetism.
2b-4aThe wife should be a girl young in years and not previously not married to any other husband, in the posession of sound health and having ad uterine brothers of her own, and not related to him by any tie of Sapinda relationship, nor belonging to the Same spiritual clanship (Arsa Gotram) as his own. She should be taken from any of the sixteen reputed families gf the Srotriyas, not related to the bridegroom within five and seven degrees in the lines of his mother and father respectively.
4b-5A bridegroom, well-versed in the knowledge of the Vedas, erudite and belonging to the same social order as herself, should be regarded as the only eligible one for a Brahmana bride. I denounce the practice of a Brahmana being united with a Sudra wife as he incurs the risk of taking birth in her womb in the shape of the child begotten by him on her person.
6Brahmana shall marry a girl either of his own caste, or one belonging to the warrior (Khatriya), or to the trading (Vaisya) community. Similarly, a Kshatriya shall marry a Kshatriya or a Vaisya girl, while a Vaisya shall
take a wife from his. own community, the marriage of a Sudra girl with a member of any of the twice born castes being hereby absolutely forbidden.
7A Brahma form of marriage is that. in which the bridegroom is invited to take his bride, decked with ornaments as the means of her father would admit of, and an offspring of such a marriage purifies the members if both the families thus united, even removed from him to the twentieth degree in the ascending line.
8-9In the Daivam form, the daughter of a sacrificer (person on whose behalf a sacrifice is performed) is given away in marriage to the priest officiating at the ceremony (Ritvik). In the Arsha form, the marriage is celebrated by making a gift of a pair of cows to the bridegroom. A child, who is the fruit of a Daivam marriage, sanctifies the members of both the united families to the sixteenth degree in the ascending line, while in the case of an offspring of the latter (Arsha) form, such sanctification extends to the sixth degree. The offspring of a nuptial union in which the bride is given away with the injunction “Live with him and discharge the duties of a householder,” to one soliciting her hands, sanctifies the members of both the united families to the sixth
degree in the ascending line.
10In the Asura form, the bride is received on the payment of a pecuniary consideration. In the Gandharva form, the union is affected on the mutual consent or agreement of the contracting parties. The Rakshasa form of marriage consists in taking away the bride by force, while in the Paisaca form the marriage is effected by practicing a stratagem on the bride.
11Only the first four forms of marriage are allowed in the case of a Brahmana. The Gandharva and Raksasa forms are commended in the case of a member of the warrior caste, the Asura form in the case of a Vaisya, and the most condemnable form in the case of a Sudra.
12A bride of the warrior caste, shall take hold of an arrow at time of her marriage, a Vaisya girl shall hold a shuttle (Pratoda) in her hand at the time, while a Brahmana bride shall be formally united with her husband with a Vedani (sharp-pointed instrument) in her hands.
13The father of the bride, or her paternal grandfather, or her uterine brother, or an agnate of her father’s (Sakulya) or her brother, shall give her away in marriage, the right of such giving away being held as vested in each of these successive relations in the absence of the one immediately preceding it in the order of enumeration.
14The relations of a girl incur the sin of willfully creating a miscarriage, or of killing a foetus in the event of their failing to give her away in marriage before she has commenced to menstruate. A girl is at liberty to make her own choice, and .to be united with a husband, in the absence of any such relation to give her away in marriage.
15A girl should be given only once in marriage and anyone carrying away a married girl should be dealt with as a common felon. Anyone deserting a good and faithful wife, commits a crime punishable under the Code while a wife possessed of contrary virtues, should be summarily discarded.
16The younger brother of a husband, may go unto a childless wife of his elder brother for the purpose of begetting an offspring on her person with the permission of his elders, first had and obtained in that behalf, and with his body anointed with clarified butter. A Sagotra (related by ties of consanguinity) or a Sapinda relation of the husband, may act in a similar capacity and for similar purposes.
17Such visits should be permitted only as long as there would remain any natural chance of conception, otherwise the visitor should be degraded in life. A child thus begotten shall belong to the lawful husband of its mother.
18A married woman found guilty of willful incontinence to her husband, and again placed into his lawful custody, shall be made to wear dirty clothes; and to live on a single morsel of food (at the close of day), negligent of her toilette and sleeping on the bare ground instead of her usual bed.
19The Moon-God gave the women their sanctity, Gandharva gave them the sweetness of speech. Sacred is fire and sanctified is the person of a woman.
20She, who willfully brings about an abortion, except for the purposes of purifying herself after having committed an act of adultery, commits the sin of killing her own husband born in her womb i~ the shape of the foetus polluted is the person of such a murderess.
21A husband is at liberty to summarily discard a wife, addicted to the habit of drinking wine, or afflicted with an incurable disease, or found to be inimically disposed towards him. 0 ye holy sages, a wife, blest with the gift of sweetness of speech, tender, and graced with all those peculiar and excellent virtues which are found only in women, should be maintained and provided for at all hazards.
22The threefold benediction of god reigns in the household where the husband and the wife live in perfect harmony; and paradise is the house which harbours such a true, lowing and virtuous pair under its roof.
23She, who does not take a second husband after the demise of her first one, achieves fame in this life, and lives in the same region with the goddess Uma in the next. Whoever discards a good and chaste wife, shall give her a third portion of her ornaments before formally effecting a separation. The sacred and imperative
duty of a wife is to carry out the commands of her husband, and to live in perfect obedience to his wishes.
24The menstrual period of a woman extends up to the sixteenth night after the catamenial flow, each month, and her husband may visit her during that time on each even day, avoiding her bed side on the first three days of her uncleanliness, as well as on days marked as Parvanas (days of full moon, new moon etc.,) in the Indian Calendar.
25The husband shall bide his time as a Brahmacarin before the actual meeting takes place. Days marked by such asterisms as the Mula, etc., (when the moon is in such lunar mansions known as the Magha Mula, etc.,)
should be regarded as forbidden for the purposes of a sexual intercourse.
26He, who observes these rules in respect of visiting the bed of his wife, is sure to beget healthy children, marked by all auspicious features of the body and mind. In the alternative, a husband may visit the bed of his wife whenever he shall feel any propulsor for it, and he shall meditate upon the god of love during the continuance of the act of dalliance.
27A man, true and faithful to his own wife, shall protect the female members to his family. The husband, or brother, or father, or the agnates, or the father-in-law, or the husbands brother of a woman, shall maintain her with food, raiments and ornaments.
28-29aA woman, who is economical in her habits, simple and not extravagant in her toilette, cleanly and ingenious in her household works, and is of a cheerful temperament, should be maintained by her friends (relations, Vandhus).
29b-30aThe wife of an assented husband shall renounce all frolics, and forego the pleasures of mixing in society, or of sight-seeing and merrymaking. She shall not smile, nor attend to her daily toilette, nor shall she stay in another’s house till the return of her lord.
30b-31The father of a woman shall protect her in her infancy, the husband in her youth, and her son in her old age, in absence whereof the duty of maintaining her shall devolve upon his friends and relations. Day and night, a woman shall not quit the side of her husband.
32The elder co-wife shall be the companion of her lord, inasmuch as the younger one does not enjoy that privilege. The husband shall personally attend to the cremation of the dead body of his own faithful wife with rites, as laid down under the head of an Agni-Hotra sacrifice and is at liberty to marry a second wife with the same sacred fire.
33The wife, who devotes her whole self to the good of her husband, achieves fame in this life and goes to that particular connubial paradise after death, which is reserved for chaste matrons.