Dasarupaka (critical study)

by Anuru Ranjan Mishra | 2015 | 106,293 words

This page relates ‘Status of Women in the Dutavakya’ 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 Dūtavākya

Though the Dūtavākya of Bhāsa does not directly state anything about women, still it is known that in ancient India ordinary women were not free to do anything outside the home. They were not allowed to go out of the house, which we know from the word of the Arthaśāstra, i.e. “aniṣkāsinyaḥ” or “aniṣkāsinīnāṃ” (3.1.7). Since Bhāsa has been considered as the poet of Pre-Mauryan period, the society, at large, can be hoped to follow the rules of Dharmaśāstras. Mudrārākṣasa of Viśākhadatta gives some idea that women were used even for the secret service. However, it should be noted that the royal women were free to give suggestions and they were even interfering in the political matters.

Since the Dūtavākya is taken from the Mahābhārata, Draupadī and other women were free to interfere in the political and personal matters. They were silent only because of the respect for their husband. In the society, they were respected. At times, they were free to marry anyone they like and there was no restriction. However, the marriage was carried out according to the Hindu laws.

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