The jester says: '
as a young girl whom all might see in her
innocence, she was in an open palanquin. 22 The second occurs in Avinaraka, where
the Princess Kunjarika goes to the garden with her attendants. Sentinels strictly guarded
the garden, so that no man could enter.
But the conclusive evidence about the seclusion of women prevalent in
these days is to be found in Pratimanataka, where Rama, while leaving the palace with
Seeta finds his subjects eagerly waiting at the door of the palace, to have a glimpse of
the royal pair.
On seeing this eager crowd around him Rama orders Seeta: O Lady
of Mithila, take off your veil. Then turning to the people he says: Gaze
freely on this my spouse, while your faces stream with tears. For women may be looked at
without offence at sacrifice or wedding, in calamity or in the forest.
The above refers mostly to royal families, but from the reference to
the life of a Nagaraka in Vatsyayana, and from a description of common life in Abijnana
Sakuntalam and Sahitya-Darpana it is clear that this was spreading beyond royal
families. It seems to have been quite a usual custom for women to appear in public with in