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Report No. 66

3.26. Scope of Stridhana.-

While, as already stated1, Vedic literature is silent about the scope of stridhana, Manu gives a comprehensive enumeration comprising six varieties2, and he even says that those who would deprive the woman of his property, particularly, ornaments and costly clothes, after the husband's death, would be committing a great sin. "Stridhana" did not include the gifts given by non-relatives subsequent to marriage and wages earned by the wife for her3-apparently, it was felt that such property or earning should be utilized in assisting the husband to shoulder the burden of the family4.

From the 7th century A.D., there was a tendency to enlarge the scope of stridhana-a tendency which is illustrated by the text of Devala which includes maintenance allowance and accidental gains within stridhana. This tendency culminated in the text of Vijnaneshvara, whose gloss on a text of Yajnavalkya amplified the definition, and made it so comprehensive that it would include every type of property in the possession of a woman, howsoever the property may have been acquired. We shall revert to this later5.

1. Para. 3.25, supra.

2. Manu 9, 200.

3. Katyayana.

4. Altekar Position of Women in Hindu Civilization, (1938), p. 263.

5. See Paras. 3.29 and 3.30, infra.

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