women, for whom the period of husband’s absence which justified
  desertion on the part of the wife was of no consequence; thus the shortest
  duration of waiting was recommended for the wives of the Sudras.
  Widow remarriage was generally confined to the lower varnas throughout
  the ancient Indian period.
  Niyoga, which in Vedic age was practised largely by the Brahmins and
  Kshatriyas, came to be confined to the Sudras from the early centuries of
  the Christian era onwards.
  Polygamy was quite popular among the higher varnas, while monogamy
  was prevalent mostly among the lower varnas.
  Instances of intercaste marriage mainly concerned men of higher and
  women of lower varnas, and were chiefly limited to the union between the
  Brahmins and the Kshatriyas.
  The varnasamkara theory was meant mainly to accommodate foreign and
  indigenous tribes in the caste hierarchy.
The true study of a nation means really a study of its aims and ideals, of the
means adopted and the paths followed, rather than its actual successes and
failures. That is why a real understanding of Indian womanhood essentially
depends on that of its ideals in their various aspects. It is true that four aims
of life (chaturvargas) are spoken of in Indian literature, viz. dharma, artha,
kama, and moksha: moral behaviour, wealth, worldly pleasure, and salvation.
But it is at the same time unanimously and unambiguously asserted that
moksha is by far the highest ideal of man.
Ideals of Indian Womanhood
In India, two great classes of persons have been generally recognised:
ascetics and householders. For women also India has recognised two main
ideals, viz. that of a brahmavadini and that of a sadyovadhu. A brahmavadini
is of an ascetic type striving for the highest philosophical knowledge: thus
her ideal of life is spiritual well-being.  A sadyovadhu, on the other hand, is of