wife of the great sage Prajapati Kardama and mother of the greater sage
Kapila, the propounder of the Samkhya system of Indian philosophy. Her
philosophical discourses with her learned husband and son go to prove her
unique spiritual attainments, even though she lived a household life.
Women in Smritis
The position of women in India gradually deteriorated as the golden Vedic
ideals of unity and equality began to fade off through the passage of time.
During the period of the Smritis, women were bracketed with the Sudras, and
were denied the right to study the Vedas, to utter Vedic mantras, and to
perform Vedic rites.
    Hence, during such an age, it was not to be expected that women would
continue to enjoy the old privilege of choosing a life of celibacy and
asceticism. On the other hand, marriage or domestic life became compulsory
for women, and unquestioning devotion to, and self-effacing service of
husbands their only duty. To quote the well-known dictum of Manu: ‘A
woman is protected by her father during childhood, by her husband during
youth, and by her sons during old age. She is never fit for freedom.’
Economic Position
Since women and property are bracketed together in several references in the
epics, Smritis and Puranas, there is no doubt that woman herself was
regarded as a sort of property: She could be given away or loaned as any item
of property. Manu and Yajnavalkya, for example, hold that a woman is never
    This was like the attitude of a typical patriarchal society based on private
property. Because of this attitude the Brahmanical law did not allow any
proprietary rights to women; the provision for stridhana is of a very limited
character and does not extend beyond the wife’s rights to jewels, ornaments
and presents made to her. Manu declares that the wife, the son and the slave
are unpropertied, whatever they earn is the property of those to whom they
    This sort of social philosophy took strong roots in Gupta and post-Gupta
periods, although the institutions of monogamous family and private property