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Chapter 31 - Code of Woman's Behavior

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Hearing the advice, the young wife requested the Sanyasi to tell her how she should behave.

The Sanyasi explained to her the code of female behavior. He said , 'This code is mentioned in the Kashi Khand of the Skand Purana. Agasti Muni lived in Kashi. His wife Lopamudra was a great devoted wife. Vindhyagiri(mountain) was a disciple of Agasti. Once Narada came to Vindhya and said, 'you are praise worthy in all respects, but there is only one thing wanting in you. You are not as high as Merugiri.' Hearing this, Vindhya got enraged and began to grow. He grew so high that he touched the sky. Due to this, the entire country in the sough of Vindhya plunged into darkness. Consequently the Brahmins could not observe their daily rites and sacrifices. The Rishis told this to Indra, who went to Brahmadev and narrated this to him. Brahmadev said,'Agasti is the Guru of Vindhyagiri. Send him southwards. Seeing Agasti Vindhya will come down to bow to him. Agasti should then ask him to be in that very position and not grow high. In this way this calamity can be removed.'

Indra, accompanied by Brahaspati and other gods, came to Agasti at Kashi. They worshipped Agasti and Lopamudra and praised them. At that time Brahspati (Guru of the Gods) narrated the code of behavior of a devoted wife. He said, 'Arundhati, Savitri,Anasuya,Lakshmi,Parwati,Shantarupa,Menka,Suniti,Sandhyadevi ,Suryakanta,Swahadevi have all been devoted wives. So is Lopamudra a great devoted wife. Every devoted wife dines after her husband has dined. She respects the guests, and the elders and greets her husband, when he comes from outside. She does not disobey her husband. She worships her husband thinking him to be Shri Shankar. She serves him in the night and goes to sleep after her husband has slept. She gets up before her husband, cleans the courtyard and sprinkles it with water. After bath she worships her husband and takes his teerth(Toe dipped water.). She dresses and wears ornaments when her husband is at home. When he goes out, she does not have a make up Even if the husband speaks harshly to her, she does not retort. She does not abuse him. When he comes home she greets him and asks him what he wants. A devoted wife, when she goes out, does not look at other persons and returns home soon.

She not observe any vrat or fast or does not give any thing in charity without the permission of her husband. If there is some function, fair or ceremony in the town, she does not go without the husband's instructions. If the husband is happy, she is not dejected and if he is in grief, she will not come joyful. If she is in monthly course, she does not come in front of her husband and does not hear the Vedas. After bath on the fourth day, she gives company to her husband and in his absence she only sees the Sun. She applies halad-kunkum-kajal and wears the mangalsutra round her neck, bangles on her wrists for the long life of her husband. She does not make friendship with the washerwomen, concubines, atheists and those who cajole their husbands.

A woman should not live deserting her mother and father-in-laws, brother-in-law, brother and sisters. She should not bother putting off all her clothes. She should not sit on grinding stone or mortar-pestle. She should not argue with her husband. She should not behave in such a way that he would he displeased. Even if the husband is moneyless, miserable, weak, diseased or thoughtless the wife should consider his as god and be obedient to him. She should not compare him with other rich and strong persons and censure him. Devoted service of the wife to her husband pleases Trimurti Dattatraya.

A woman retorting angrily to her husband becomes a dog, fox or dumb or pauper in seven lives. Even if the husband is weak, he should not be disregarded. She should not speak loudly or laugh in presence of the elders. She should not look towards other persons with lust. If she she does so, she is degraded morally. A husband is the soul of his wife. She is regarded auspicious as long as her husband is alive. After the husband's death, she is regarded inauspicious. While going to some place, if a widow is seen, it is considered inauspicious except to her own son.

If the wife observes, 'Sati' i.e. she burns herself with the dead body of her husband, she attains all glory. She liberates the persons of 42 generations(21 of the husband and 21 paternal). If the husband is sinful, still she takes him to heaven Yama's servants also are afraid of a 'Sati'. The virtue of going 'sati' is immense. On the contrary if a woman is adulterous, she sends her 42 generations to the hell. Those who have a Sati in their homes, are really fortunate. They attain four valours(Purusharthas). Their acts are virtuous. That home is like a forest, which is without a Sati.

In this way Brahaspati told Lopamudra regarding the behavior of a devoted wife. The same was narrated by the Sanyasi to the mourning woman.'

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