I have come across a lot of more-religious-less-historic books pertaining to history, which claim that the position of women from the beginning of Vedic civilisation, was ascribed by the scriptures, or 'righteous' norms of society to be 'mariyadit' sort of. The term means donning boundaries supposedly dignified, to be upheld by the sense of dignity in the person, and to be enforced somewhat by the good of society, to prevent obscenity, corruption degradation and all. There is a particular quote much celebrated, by those 'dignity and boundaries' advocates that

A woman is never supposed to live independently. During young age, she is to live under the 'protection' of her father, after being married, under her husband, and after being widowed, in aegis of her sons.

This I believe, is from the Manu Samhita.

The question is, what are the verses, which shed light on the position of women, and verses which put regulations on conduct of women, in Vedic and ensuing literature (The Upanishads, the epics Ramayana, Mahabharata, the samhitas, the commentaries, the fiction of the time, or any other work).

  • 5
    The Smritis (including Manu) and Puranas give the regulations of the conduct of not only women but men and the different asramas as well. Why focus on women? The regulations on men are just as severe as those for women. Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 9:38
  • @SwamiVishwananda Swamiji, would you please qoute some verses for the same. I am doing some research on the topic.
    – Rohit
    Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 9:40

2 Answers 2


The question is, what are the verses, which shed light on the position(& importance) of women

I'm answering only the part highlighted above hence consider this as a partial answer.

Since, you quoted a verse from the Manu Smriti , which shows women in a slightly degraded position i find it apt to quote verses from the same Smriti itself to counter that wrong notion.

The following 6 verses, taken from Chapter 3 of Manu smriti, very well describe the position & importance of women in a Hindu (Vedic) society.

3.55. Women must be honoured and adorned by their fathers, brothers, husbands, and brothers-in-law, who desire (their own) welfare.

3.56. Where women are honoured, there the gods are pleased; but where they are not honoured, no sacred rite yields rewards.

3.57. Where the female relations live in grief, the family soon wholly perishes; but that family where they are not unhappy ever prospers.

3.58. The houses on which female relations, not being duly honoured, pronounce a curse, perish completely, as if destroyed by magic.

3.59. Hence men who seek (their own) welfare, should always honour women on holidays and festivals with (gifts of) ornaments, clothes, and (dainty) food.

3.60. In that family, where the husband is pleased with his wife and the wife with her husband, happiness will assuredly be lasting.

  • Sir, you do your part of appropriating, but you still don't quote the verses which I had asked for.
    – Rohit
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 19:06
  • And if its a discussion, granting independence and personhood is quite different from exaltation which is a directive and can be hollowly surpassed.
    – Rohit
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 19:08
  • 1
    these citations are very important. Thank you.
    – onephys
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 5:52

What is the time frame of Vedic India? This is important because women's position in Hindu society has changed with time according to Hindu scriptures.

... women formerly were not immured within houses and dependent on husbands and other relatives. They used to go about freely enjoying themselves as best as they liked. O thou of excellent qualities, they did not then adhere to their husbands faithfully, and yet, O handsome one, they were not regarded sinful, for that was the sanctioned usage of the times.

(Mahabharata, Adi Parva CXXII)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .