KIRAN ATMA: Adultery
Showing posts with label Adultery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adultery. Show all posts

Hinduism And Hindu Theology - Adultery In Hindu Society

Given the ancient Hindu concept that women are the conduits and protectors of family status, the dharma literature's laws on adultery are primarily focused on women's behavior, but they do prescribe a penance (prayashchitta) for a man who commits adultery with another man's wife. 


Adultery is considerably more severe for women, according to the dharma literature. 


It's worth noting that, in most instances, the dharma does not advocate for the lady to be forcibly removed from her house. 


  • An unfaithful woman must undergo a penance that includes sleeping on the ground, wearing filthy clothing, and eating very little food until her next menstrual cycle; she also loses her position as a lady of the home and whatever domestic authority she may have had during this time. 
  • All of this is supposed to finish with a bath at the conclusion of her menstrual cycle, after which she is welcomed back into her previous position, according to the dharma literature. 
  • Women who get pregnant as a consequence of extramarital affairs are to be abandoned. In reality, this usually entails being isolated and cut off from her family, but she is still fed. 


Abandonment is also advised in the following situations: 

  • adulterous liaisons with a man's pupil or guru, 
  • if a woman tries to murder her husband, 
  • or if she murders her aged fetus. 


The unwillingness to fully throw a woman away, as well as the readiness to restore her to her previous position after repentance, both indicate the significance of marriage and family life in Hindu culture, as well as the role of women in the family. 


Although these recommendations in the dharma literature seem to be reasonably compassionate, there has frequently been a significant gap between these prescriptions and actual practice of a specific group. 

  • In general, the greater a group's social status (or the more a group is attempting to enhance its social status), the harsher it punishes such violations, since they harm the group's social standing. 


Currently, this divide is exacerbated by differences in views about sexuality between rural and urban settings, with the latter being much more liberal and the former being more restricted. 

  • These distinctions are shown by stories of unfaithful women being murdered to restore the family's reputation. 
  • This is much more severe than even the most severe punishment specified in the dharma canon.


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