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Ancient and medieval era Hindu texts present a diverse picture of duties and rights of women in Hinduism.
The texts recognize eight kinds of marriage, ranging from father finding a marriage partner for his daughter and seeking her consent (Brahma marriage), to the bride and groom finding each other without parental participation (Gandharva marriage).
Tirukkoneri Dasyai, a 15th-century scholar, wrote a commentary on Nammalvar's Tiruvaayamoli, with reference to Vedic texts such as the Taittiriya Yajurveda.
The Mahabharata is a legendary Hindu epic reflecting the social beliefs and culture in ancient India.
In fact, Daughters-in-law are no fully accepted into their husband's families until they have produced a son of their own. However, in other sections, the same text asserts that "women must be honored and adorned", and "where women are revered, there the gods rejoice; but where they are not, no sacred rite bears any fruit".
Women who are mothers of a son, with their husbands still alive, are the most auspicious members of society.
Ancient texts of Hinduism expound a reverence for the feminine.
The 10th chapter of the Rigveda, for example, asserts the feminine to be the supreme principle behind all of cosmos, in the following hymn called as Devi Sukta, I am the Queen, the gatherer-up of treasures, most thoughtful, first of those who merit worship.
On the world's summit I bring forth the Father: my home is in the waters, in the ocean.
I make the man I love exceeding mighty, make him nourished, a sage, and one who knows Brahman.
I bend the bow for Rudra that his arrow may strike and slay the hater of devotion.
The main female character in the Mahabharata, Draupadi is married to all the five Pandavas, thus has five husbands.
She is insulted by Duryodhana, one of the triggers for the great war.The duties of women are again recited in Chapter 146, as a conversation between god Shiva and his wife goddess Uma, where Shiva asks what are the duties of women.Uma (Parvati) proceeds to meet all the rivers, who are all goddesses that nourish and create fertile valleys.In the Ramayana composed in the second half of 1st millennium BCE, Sita is respected, honored and seen as inseparable beloved but presented as a homemaker, the ideal wife and partner to Rama.