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Manusmriti 9:17

शय्याऽऽसनमलङ्कारं कामं क्रोधमनार्जवम् । द्रोहभावं कुचर्यां च स्त्रीभ्यो मनुरकल्पयत् ॥ १७ ॥

śayyā''sanamalaṅkāraṃ kāmaṃ krodhamanārjavam | drohabhāvaṃ kucaryāṃ ca strībhyo manurakalpayat || 17 ||

Manu assigned to women sleep, sitting, ornament, lust, anger, dishonesty, malice and bad conduct.—(17)

Mahabharata 13.40

O son of Kunti, women were all virtuous. Those, however, that sprang from this creation by Brahman with the aid of an illusion became sinful. The grandsire bestowed upon them the desire of enjoyment, all kinds of carnal pleasure. Tempted by the desire of enjoyment, they began to pursue persons of the other sex. The puissant lord of the deities created Wrath as the companion of Lust. Women have no especial acts prescribed for them. Even this is the ordinance that was laid down. The Shruti declares that women are endued with senses the most powerful, that they have no scriptures to follow, and that they are living lies. Beds and seats and ornaments and food and drink and the absence of all that is respectable and righteous, indulgence in disagreeable words, and love of sexual companionship,--these were bestowed by Brahman upon women. Men are quite unable to restrain them within bounds.

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    Because Manusmriti & Mahabharata didn't need to be politically correct about natures of divisions and genders, unlike today's time. Your Qn is good, and it's quite suitable as an answer itself. It's less likely that scriptures would self justify itself. – iammilind Jun 19 '17 at 4:09
  • @iammilind please elaborate – Hindu Jun 19 '17 at 4:50
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    You are still avoiding my original question. Are u doing these researches urself? Or are u simply posting them by taking help of one particular website? BTW all of ur Qs have only one single theme. Don't u think that u need to change it? – Rickross Jun 19 '17 at 5:28
  • BTW @Hindu i am not the down-voter. – Rickross Jun 19 '17 at 5:36
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    When you know sources of the verses, why can't you take sometime to read complete chapter or at least a chapter before it? Why cherrypicking verses and asking XYZ scripture insults ABC person? – The Destroyer Jun 20 '17 at 8:31
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Why Mahabaharata says Women are living lies ?

First Of all lets look at the whole context in which these sentences were written. Now if we look at the previous chapters which describes the whole story , we can see that-:

1) In Mahabharata Yudhishthira once asked Bhishma about discourse on women.
2) Then Bhishma told Yudhishthira a old story of Rishi Narada and Apsara Panchachuda in this connection.


So Basically this is a conversation between Narada and the Apsara and the words are description of women by an Apsara (celestial nymph) .Upon enquiry by the Narada Apsara said this.

'Hearing these words of the celestial Rishi, that foremost of Apsaras replied unto him, saying, 'I am unable, being myself a woman, to speak ill of women. She then addressed herself to mention what the true and eternal faults of women are!.

So she is telling all this by addressing herself i.e. looking at her own. Now note that she is Apsara.

I shall also tell thee, O king, how women were created by the Grandsire Brahman and the object for which they were created by Him. There is no creature more sinful, O son, than women. Woman is a blazing fire. She is the illusion, O king, that the Daitya Maya created. She is the sharp edge of the razor. She is poison. She is a snake. She is fire. She is, verily, all these united together.

Now here Bhishma is actually saying good about women – i.e she is - Blazing fire , illusion , shapr edge of the razor , snake , fire . That to say Bhishma is portraying her as equally powerful as males and not a weak or fearful one.

"Bhishma said, 'In this connection is cited the old history of the discourse between the celestial Rishi Narada and the (celestial) courtezan Panchachuda. Once in ancient times, the celestial Rishi Narada, having roamed over all the world, met the Apsara Panchachuda of faultless beauty, having her abode in the region of Brahman. Beholding the Apsara every limb of whose body was endued with great beauty, the ascetic addressed her, saying, 'O thou of slender waist, I have a doubt in my mind. Do thou explain it.

I shall also tell thee, O king, how women were created by the Grandsire Brahman and the object for which they were created by Him. There is no creature more sinful, O son, than women. Woman is a blazing fire. She is the illusion, O king, that the Daitya Maya created. She is the sharp edge of the razor. She is poison. She is a snake. She is fire. She is, verily, all these united together.

It has been heard by us that all persons of the human race are characterised by righteousness, and that they, in course of natural progress and improvement, attain to the status of deities. This circumstance alarmed the deities. They, therefore, O chastiser of foes, assembled together and repaired to the presence of the Grandsire. Informing Him of what was in their minds, they stood silent in his presence, with downcast eyes. The puissant Grand sire having ascertained what was in the hearts of the deities, created women, with the aid of an Atharvan rite.

Now here we can see that what Mahabahrata is saying - seeing that all humans were capable of becoming like them the deities got alarmed and went to Brahma with their concern and then Brahma created women , as a solution.

In a former creation, O son of Kunti, women were all virtuous. Those, however, that sprang from this creation by Brahman with the aid of an illusion became sinful. The grandsire bestowed upon them the desire of enjoyment, all kinds of carnal pleasure. Tempted by the desire of enjoyment, they began to pursue persons of the other sex.

Now This is Important – : Bhishma says all women are virtuous , but the women who are created by Maya (illusion ) are only sinful. And Brahma bestowed upon them desire of enjoyment of every kind. And endued with senses the most powerful.

The puissant lord of the deities created Wrath as the companion of Lust. Persons of the male sex, yielding to the power of Lust and Wrath, sought the companionship of women. Women have no especial acts prescribed for them. Even this is the ordinance that was laid down. The Sruti declares that women are endued with senses the most powerful, that they have no scriptures to follow, and that they are living lies. Beds and seats and ornaments and food and drink and the absence of all that is respectable and righteous, indulgence in disagreeable words, and love of sexual companionship,--these were bestowed by Brahman upon women. Men are quite unable to restrain them within bounds. The Creator himself is incapable of restraining them within the limits that are proper: what need then be said of men? This, O chief of men, Here

I.e. the senses of women are are so powerful that all the women do not necessarily follow the scripture.

Now let us assemble all the above points and try to reach conclusion.

a) This is enquiry about nature of women.

b) This is the description of women by an Apsara by looking at herself and her own opinion. And not of any earthly women , so she might be telling description of celestial women who are unlike women on earth created for illusion purpose and no scriptures describes sespecial acts prescribed for them.

c) Only the women who are created for Maya (illusion) are sinful and specially created by Brahma to allude Humans. He himself got alluded by his powerful Maya (illusion) So not all women are addressed here. But only some selective and the apsara is giving description of them. And just a description of qualities of some illusive women. Again this is not description of all women

d) All Women are described virtuous , except some specially created for illusion .

e) At that time, again, O Narada, when women were created, these faults that I have enumerated were planted in them! Here Some Women are created By Brahma with all these faults i.e. they were planted in them for special purpose.

`Conclusion - So this quotes of yours isn't addressed towards all the women and does not apply to all , again being in the context of the story the living lies word is used for only some women who are created with Maya or Illusion.


शय्याऽऽसनमलङ्कारं कामं क्रोधमनार्जवम् ।
द्रोहभावं कुचर्यां च स्त्रीभ्यो मनुरकल्पयत् ॥ १७ ॥
śayyā''sanamalaṅkāraṃ kāmaṃ krodhamanārjavam |
drohabhāvaṃ kucaryāṃ ca strībhyo manurakalpayat || 17 ||

Manu assigned to women sleep, sitting, ornament, lust, anger, dishonesty, malice and bad conduct.—(17)

Now looking at the Mahabhrata answer , I have provided its clear that , while creating women Prajāpati gave these qualities / characteristics to women.That mean he created women with these faults.

Manusmiriti only listing them. The reference to this quotes with reason can be found here

So my Mahabhrata answer also gives answer to your manu-smiriti quotes.See here

  • @SwiftPushkar not only this, Satapatha Brahmana 14:1:1:31 says women and shudras are untruth – user9554 Jun 24 '17 at 15:36

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