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The answer is a very emphatic NO!

Here is a translation of one of the Hindu epics, the Mahabharat (which contains the holy book for followers of Hindu Dharma, the Bhagavad Gita)

Mahabharata, Book 13 Anusasana Parva, Section XLIV

“The saying is well-known that the status of husband and wife is created by actual bestowal of the daughter by the sire (and her acceptance by the husband with due rites). The status of wife cannot attach to maidens through sale and purchase. They who regard such status to be due to sale and the gift of dowry are persons that are certainly unacquainted with the scriptures. No one should bestow his daughter upon such persons. In fact, they are not men to whom one may marry his daughter. A wife should never be purchased. Nor should a father sell his daughter. Only those persons of sinful soul who are possessed, besides, by cupidity, and who sell and purchase female slaves for making serving women, regard the status of wife as capable of arising from the gift and acceptance of a dowry.

I think it is pretty clear that Dharmic scriptures are against dowry, but why is dowry still followed? This is just one of the many instances where society of Hindus is different from spiritual philosophy of Hindus.

Having said that, some things in the Mahabharat are still quite objectionable to women’s rights and civil liberties in general. Perhaps some day I will find the time to elaborate on this long list of no-nos. Also, the Anusasana Parva and Virata Parva were probably not found in the original Jaya or Bharata redactions, especially considering the Manu Smriti (that abhorent scripture of Hindus) is mentioned. MS is dated between 200BCE to 200CE. These sections must have been added later, showing that it was during this period that social evils were starting to creep up. MS did nothing to help.

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