Page:History of India Vol 1.djvu/83

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53
DOMESTIC SACRIFICES

gods, nor withhold your praise. They worship you with the best offerings.


HINDU WOMEN.
From a painting by Edwin Lord Weeks. Copyright, 1895, by Harper & Brothers.

"Blest with youthful and adolescent offspring, they acquire gold, and they both attain to a mature age.

"The gods themselves covet the worship of such a couple who are fond of sacrifices, and offer grateful food to the gods."

Still more charming is the picture of women who themselves acted as Rishis, and composed hymns and performed sacrifices like men. For there were no harmful restrictions placed on women in those days, no attempt to keep them secluded or uneducated or debarred from their legitimate place in society. There is mention of veiled wives and brides, but no reference to the enforced seclusion of women. On the contrary, we meet them everywhere in their legitimate spheres of action, taking a share in sacrifices and exercising their