(Last Updated on : 31/12/2008)
A virtuous woman, who loves her husband and also abide by his rules and commands of him, and takes care of the whole family when he is gone out to somewhere. She always keeps the house well cleaned, arranges some flowers in different corners of the house, keeps the floor clean, polished and smooth and tries to give a neat feeling to every possible way. She prepares a garden surrounding her house and keeps everything ready for morning, noon and evening sacrifices. She worships the family god regularly. According to Gonardiya all these things when done properly attracts the heart of a householder to his wife.
She behaves properly with the parents, relations, friends, sisters, and servants of her husband. In the garden she should plant beds of green vegetables, bunches of the sugar cane, and clumps of the fig tree, the mustard plant, the parsley plant, the fennel plant, and the xanthochymus pictorius. Clusters of various flowers such as the trapa bispinosa, the jasmine, the jasminum grandiflorum, the yellow amaranth, the wild jasmine, the tabernamontana coronaria, the nadyaworta, the china rose and others, should likewise be planted, together with the fragrant grass and ropogon schaenanthus, and the fragrant root of the plant andropogon miricatus. She should also have seats and arbors made in the garden, in the middle of which a well, tank, or pool should be dug.
Wife should always avoid the company of female beggars, female Buddhist beggars, unchaste and malicious woman, female fortunetellers and witches. She should always take care of her husband regarding his food what he likes or dislikes, what is good and what is injurious to him.
According to Kamasutra, at the time of arrival of her husband she becomes alert and orders her maid servants to wash his feet or do it by herself. When going with her husband she should put ornaments, dress herself beautifully and does not do the following actions without the consent of the husband like giving or accepting invitations, attending marriages or sacrifices, sitting in the company of female friends, or visiting the temples of the Gods. She should never be engaged in any kind of games or sports without his consent and should always sit down after or get up before him. Never awaken him at the time of sleeping. Regarding kitchen it should be placed in a calm and quite place, not accessible to strangers and should always look clean and hygienic.
She should not charge him markedly on some of his mistakes in spite of her angriness. She should not raise her voice against him or scold him in front of his friends or when he is alone. According to Gonardiya, there is no cause of dislike on the part of a husband so great as this characteristic in a wife'. Lastly she should avoid bad expressions, gloomy looks, speaking aside, standing in the doorway, and looking at pedestrians, conversing in the pleasure groves, and remaining in a lonely place for a long time; and finally she should always keep her body, teeth, and hair tidy and clean.
Vatsayana in his Kamasutra also offers suggestion for the wives to win over her husband. When the wife meets her husband alone in their private time she should decorate herself with ornaments and flowers, colorful clothes, and some sweet smelling ornaments. But in regular life she dresses simply with a thin, close textured cloth, a few ornaments, flowers and a little scents. She should maintain some fasts for her husband's good health and should continue it irrespective of his request of not doing it.
At the time when things are cheap at cost she should buy and preserve it nicely like she can purchase earth, bamboos, firewood, skins, and iron pots, as also salt and oil. Fragrant substances, vessels made of the fruit of the plant wrightea antidysenterica, or oval leaved wrightea, medicines, and other things which are always wanted, should be acquired when necessary and kept in a secret place of the house. The various seeds should be bought at proper time at cheap rate and sown at the proper season. The name of such seeds are as follows: seeds of the radish, the potato, the common beet, the Indian wormwood, the mango, the cucumber, the egg plant, the kushmanda, the pumpkin gourd, the surana, the bignonia indica, the sandal wood, the premna spinosa, the garlic plant, the onion, and other vegetables.
The wife should never talk to strangers about her wealth or any secret about her family. She should go beyond all the women of her own rank in life regarding her cleverness, appearance, knowledge of cookery, her pride, and her manner of serving her husband. The expenditure of the year should be regulated by the profits. The milk that remains after the meals should be turned into ghee or clarified butter. Different types of work which are important to daily life should done at home only, like preparation of oil and sugar, spinning and weaving, a store of ropes and cords, and barks of trees for twisting into ropes, etc.
She should pay the salaries of the servants, look after the tilling of the fields, keeping of the flocks and herds, superintend the making of vehicles, and take care of the rams, cocks, quails, parrots, starlings, cuckoos, peacocks, monkeys, and deer; and finally adjust the income and expenditure of the day. The worn-out clothes should be given to those servants who have done good work, in order to show them that their services have been appreciated. The vessels, in which wine is prepared or kept, should be carefully looked after, and put away at the proper time. She should welcome the friends of her husband by presenting them with flowers, ointment, betel leaves, and betel nut. She should treat nicely with her father-in-law and mother-in-law by not contradicting them, speaking to them in few and nice, lovable words, not laughing loudly in their presence, and acting with their friends and enemies as with her own. In addition to the above she should be liberal towards her servants, and reward them on holidays and festivals. She should always open to her husband and not give away anything without making her husband known about it.
The chapter on the manner of living of a virtuous woman in Kamasutra ends here.
During the absence of her husband the woman should wear only fortunate or lucky ornaments, and observe the fasts in honor of the Gods. She should always look after her household affairs even when she is anxious to hear the news of her husband. She should sleep near the elder women of the house, and should behave with them in a very pleasing manner. She should keep the things repaired that are liked by her husband, and continue the works that have been begun by him. She can only go to occasions of joy and sorrow for a short period, where she should go in her usual traveling dress, accompanied by her husband's servants.
The fasts and feasts should be observed with the consent of the elders of the house. By making purchases and sales she should increase the resources. The income should be increased, and the expenditure diminished as much possible. And when her husband returns from his journey, she should receive him in her ordinary clothes first, so that he may know the way she has lived during his absence. She should bring some presents and materials to him for the worship of the Deity.
This part of Vatsayana's Kamasutra mainly discusses the behavior of a wife during the absence of her husband on a journey.
So according to Kamasutra there are some verses on the subject as follows:
'The wife, whether she be a woman of noble family, or a virgin widow remarried, or a courtesan, should lead a chaste life, devoted to her husband, and doing everything for his welfare. Women acting thus acquire Dharma
, Artha, and Kama
, obtain a high position, and generally keep their husbands devoted to them.'