In the Anusasana Parva, Mahabharata, Bhishma tells Yudhisthira the following. He quotes Yama as the authority in this matter.
- ” That man who acquires wealth by selling his own son, or who bestows his daughter after accepting a dower for his own livelihood, has to sink in seven terrible hells one after another, known by the name of Kalasutra.
- In that form of marriage which is called Arsha, the person who weds has to give a bull and a cow and the father of the maiden accepts the gift. Some characterise this gift as a dowry (or price), while some are of opinion that it should not be regarded in that light. The true opinion, however, is that a gift for such a purpose, be it of small value or large, should, O king, be regarded as dowry or price, and the bestowal of the daughter under such circumstances should be viewed as a sale.
On daughter’s share of father’s property:
- ‘The son is even as one’s own self, and the daughter is like unto the son. How, therefore, can another take the wealth when one lives in one’s own self in the form of one’s daughter? Whatever wealth is termed the Yautuka property of the mother, forms the portion of the maiden daughter. If the maternal grandfather happens to die without leaving sons, the daughter’s son should inherit it. The daughter’s son offers pindas to his own father and the father of his mother. Hence, in accordance with considerations of justice, there is no difference between the son and the daughter’s son. When a person has got only a daughter and she has been invested by him with the status of a son, if he then happens to have a son, such a son (instead of taking all the wealth of his sire) shares the inheritance with the daughter. When, again, a person has got a daughter and she has been invested by him with the status of a son, if he then happens to take a son by adoption or purchase then the daughter is held to be superior to such a son (for she takes three shares of her father’s wealth, the son’s share being limited to only the remaining two).”
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