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strīdharma


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At its most general, received Brahmanical views about how a woman should live her life and behave towards the rest of society in accordance with dharma. More specifically, the compound refers to those (very limited) portions of Dharmaśāstra which prescribe the appropriate behaviour for a woman in accordance with her varṇa, and her current station in life. Within this framework, Manusmṛti (5.147ff.), for example, allows her to be a dutiful daughter under the care of her father, a faithful wife under the care of her husband, and a widow under the care of her sons; but at no point at all should she be independent of male control. Being a ‘dutiful’ or ‘faithful’ wife in this context entails producing and raising sons, helping one's husband to perform his enjoined rituals, and retaining one's monogamous purity. In this way, after death, one might hope to attain a place in heaven, alongside one's husband.

See also marriage.

See also marriage.

Subjects: Hinduism.


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