Dasarupaka (critical study)

by Anuru Ranjan Mishra | 2015 | 106,293 words

This page relates ‘Status of Women in the Ubhayabhisarika’ of the English study of the Dasarupaka of Dhananjaya: an important work on Hindu dramaturgy (Natya-shastra) from the tenth century dealing with the ten divisions of Sanskrit drama (nata), describing their technical aspects and essential dramaturgical principals. These ten types of drama are categorised based on the plot (vastu), hero (neta) and sentiment (rasa)

Part 13 - Status of Women in the Ubhayābhisārikā

Women were prohibited from the Vedic study, but they were allowed to learn dance and music (aṅgavidyās). They had to look after domestic matters like home budgetand regulating expenditure. In some cases, high caste girls used to live in the hermitages for their study and learnt art of singing and dancing. The woman had to live with her husband. She used to be devoted to him. She worshipped the domestic fire. She was the home minister of her husband lifetime. She was allowed to do all religious acts with husband. However, the marriage system existed not only with their own caste (anuloma) but also with the other castes (pratiloma).

The rich men used to marry many wives in those days. The women were abandoned in extreme cases like illicit relation with low caste man or Śudras, or attempting to kill her husband. After the death of the husband, the woman would inherit her husband’s property. There was no self-immolation (satīdāha) system in those days. Women were entitled to all types of public right. The period, however, was not free from courtesans known from the Ubhayābhisārikā. The higher society people used to patronize them. These courtesans or Gaṇikās had the right to worship gods in the temples, even as they were performing song and dance.

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