Manu declared that if a man does it to another man, he has to perform the Santapana penance (11.174*). What if a woman does it to another woman?

*Reference - Manu's Code of Law - a critical Edition by Patrick Olivelle

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    Women are automatically cleared off their sins every month after menses
    – Vivikta
    Commented Jun 18, 2021 at 5:19
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    @Vivikta So sometimes Laws do take a pro-woman stance! Commented Jun 18, 2021 at 5:41
  • @Archit Thanks. Why don't you write it as an answer, so that I can accept it? Commented Jun 18, 2021 at 7:38
  • @Vivikta That is not for all sins, especially committed deliberately. Read these articles by our fellow user Nitin Sridhar who explains logically by quoting from all scriptures explaining various levels of meanings on menstruation. indiafacts.org/hindu-view-menstruation-ii-menstruation-ashaucha
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Jun 18, 2021 at 7:55
  • Is Nitin Sridhar an "authority"? Why should I believe that his version of interpretation is the "only-correct" one, while all the other interpretations are incorrect. I think it's a very subjective issue un-resolved unless the Original author of the treatise, themselves clarify in detail what they meant for "menstrual-sin-cleansing".
    – Vivikta
    Commented Jun 18, 2021 at 9:10

1 Answer 1


Quoting from the extant Manusmriti. The provisions dealing with female homosexuality are given in the chapter on adultery. The punishment for the same is as follows:

If a maiden pollutes another maiden, her fine shall be two hundred; she shall also pay the double of her nuptial fee and shall receive ten lashes.—(Manu 8.369)

But if a woman pollutes a maiden, she deserves immediate shaving off, or the amputation of two fingers, and also being carried by a donkey.—(Manu 8.370)

Here, ‘maiden’ refers to ‘kanya’ or an unmarried girl and woman refers to a ‘non-maiden’.

  • No-where it talks about the term "homosexuality" though, I think?! It just says that sexual contact between two women is a sin. The definition of Homosexuality is much broader than just saying "sexual-contact". These verses are just talking about "sexual contact" between two women without defining what type of "sexuality" will that same sex-act enjoin.
    – Vivikta
    Commented Jun 18, 2021 at 9:33
  • @Vivikta okay....
    – Adiyarkku
    Commented Jun 18, 2021 at 9:58
  • Does "carried by a donkey" mean being dragged by a donkey while tied? Kindly explain here in comments. Just curious. Commented Jun 18, 2021 at 13:40
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    @SeverusSnape Carried means seated on top of a donkey. The word used is Udvahanam which means to bear the weight while carrying.
    – Adiyarkku
    Commented Jun 18, 2021 at 13:42
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    @SeverusSnape it seems more of a show. Like more of a walk of shame than a punishment as such.
    – Adiyarkku
    Commented Jun 18, 2021 at 13:56

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