As I understand, a female (having lost her husband), is called as a Widow (hindi: विधवा, vidhavā ).

Scriptures have detailed guidelines on the "Code of Conduct - CoC" for the Widows: Which scriptures deal with rules for widows?.

I'd like to know, What's the parallel 'male equivalent' for the widow, called in the scriptures ?

Moreover, Does Hinduism have any similar "Code of Conduct", for the 'male equivalent' too?

If Yes, Please give details about those CoC. If No, I'd like to know the possible reasons (present in the scriptures or commented on, by eminent personalities) for the non-existence of any CoC for males?

1 Answer 1


Vidhura is the word used for a widower in Baudhayana Dharma Sutras

  1. Now we will explain the rule for entering the order of ascetics (saṃnyāsa).

  2. Some (teachers say), 'He who has finished his studentship may become an ascetic immediately on (the completion of) that.'

  3. But (according to others, asceticism is befitting) for Sālīnas and Yāyāvaras who are childless;

  4. Or a widower (may become an ascetic).

A footnote on 4 says the following:

Vidhura, translated, according to Govinda's explanation, by 'widower,' perhaps includes all persons who have been separated from their families.

According to Sanskrit dictionary the corresponding Sanskrit words for widower are Vidhura and amena.

विधुर m. vidhura widower
अमेन m. amena widower

The rest of the question can be answered as follows:

Does Hinduism have any similar "Code of Conduct", for the 'male equivalent' too?

No. The situations are not the same. Because men can have multiple wives but women can't have multiple husbands. For example: What is the explanation for Aitareya Brahmana III. 3

And, for widows, remarriage is not an option as per scriptures:

Manu 9.65. In the sacred texts which refer to marriage the appointment (of widows) is nowhere mentioned, nor is the re-marriage of widows prescribed in the rules concerning marriage

Whereas, a young (twice born) widower must marry if he wants to keep the sacred fire because Vedic rites can't be performed without the wife.

A Homa should never be performed by the 'Ritwik and others in the absence of the married couple. What is done in their absence becomes profitless, (1)

By leaving aside the Sacred Fire and transgressing the limit, if a person goes away with his wife and the time for Homa expires, he shall have to deposit the Fire again. (2)

If the Sacred Fire is mixed up with the fire that destroys a forest, one should preserve it. And when that fire is extinguished, he should again consecrate it. (3) If one having many wives goes on superseding the eldest one, some wish that the Fire should be consecrated again. But this is not [the view of] Gotama, (4)

Having cremated a becoming wife, dead before, with the fire of the vessel, one should get himself re-married without delay [and consecrate the Fire again].

Katyayana Smriti, Chapter 20

  • "a young (twice born) widower must marry if he wants to keep the sacred fire..."— instead of young, debt-free would be more appropriate, IMO. A debt-free [of the 3 debts] widower can better turn an ascetic as per Bouddhayana. Apr 6, 2021 at 12:15
  • He has to maintain the sacred fire. That's why he should marry again. He might have cleared the debts already @BasedShaiva
    – Rickross
    Apr 6, 2021 at 12:54

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