Saturday, November 21, 2009

Status of Women /Rig Veda

The NEED for equality is not a western import ,but it is fundamental concept of the greatness of Ancient Indian Civilization...
This post shows the high status of women in Vedic Period(Rig Veda Timeline)
The following are the verses..which prove the above mentioned facts..

All the info has been taken from this blog

 "A girl also should be brought up and educated with great effort and care" (Mahanirvana Tantra).
The girls were entitled to Upanayana (to receive sacred thread) and to the privilege   of studying Vedas; just as the boys. Women performed religious rites after completing their education under a Guru. They were entitled to offer sacrifices to gods. The son was not absolutely necessary for this purpose.
According to Shrauta and Grihya Sutras, women chanted mantras along with their husbands while performing rituals

 Rig Veda talks of the seven steps and vows based on mutual respect, taken during marriage

A friend thou shall be, having paced these seven steps with me. Nay, having paced the seven steps, we have become friends. May I retain thy friendship, and never part from thy friendship. Let us unite together: let us propose together. Loving each other and ever radiant in each other’s company, meaning well towards each other, sharing together all enjoyments and pleasures, let us join our thoughts.
(Source: Taittiriya Ekagnikanda, I iii, 14. ; Sastri, 1918.)
 The idea of equality is expressed in the Rig Veda:

"The home has, verily, its foundation in the wife”,” The wife and husband, being the equal halves of one substance, are equal in every respect; therefore both should join and take equal parts in all work, religious and secular." (Rig Veda 5, 61. 8)
Rig veda has no mention of child marriage and Sati(WIDOW burning)

Widow RE-Marraige:

Rik (x.18.8) blesses a woman at her second marriage, with progeny and prosperity in this life time::Go up, O woman, to the world of living; you stand by this one who is deceased; come! to him who grasps your hand, your second spouse (didhisu) ,you have now entered into the relation of wife to husband.
In Rig VEDA (X.18.9) the new husband while taking the widow as his wife says to her: let us launch a new life of valor and strength begetting male children overcoming all enemies who may assail us.

ATHARA VEDA(XVIII.3.4) blesses the widow to have a happy life with present husband ::O ye inviolable one ! (the widow) tread  the path of wise in front of thee and choose this man (another suitor) as thy husband. Joyfully receive him and may the two of you mount the world of happiness

To name a few of those  significant women rishis/SCHOLARS/AUTHORS OF RIG VEDA   who figure in the Rig Veda Samhitā:  Goshā Kakshivati, Lopamudra, Romasha,Sarama Devasuni , Yami Vaivasvathi , Rathir Bharadwaja  , Apala, Paulomi and others. Needlessto say they were held in high esteem  for their work to be included in the important religious text of the era. 
According to the author all the defilements in the Indian culture after the glorious vedic period was as a response to invasions from various other countries like Greece..(Alexander),Persia..Our civilization went into dark ages and so our society slowly degraded and we can see the effects even now..

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Indian thought reached the acme somewhere in the timeline. This has been confirmed by Arthur Schopenhauer, John Stuart Mill and Ludwig Wittgenstein but I would not immediately trust this (sulekha) source that has English translations just because it serves as a quick tutorial. The above google video on Tanjore temple and Raja Raja cholan tells a lot about what the remnants of Indian thought produced. Throughout human time line, all "civilizations" have left evidences of inhuman nature as they have left evidences for signs of their civic life. I have heard many Indians saying that India never invaded other countries. Raja raja chola was never an Indian. He was a chola. Something happened somewhere that a south Indian shares a common nationality with a guy in Meghalaya, Manipur or Kashmir. If journal collection of Indian express, Al jazereera and BBC are going to serve as archeological source of evidences of the past, for future men, probably many of those evidences that they have are going to be invalid. We know that media is not fully trustful today, right? Bottom line of my view(If I have??): The great heritage of India is very hard to understand because it is beyond our understanding today. One may experiment by looking onto oneself if he leads a better life even without reading Vedas or not...this I think is sure a good starting point. (Better life includes the case of treating all the sexes equally). To be a Vedic man, you may not need Vedas.