‘WOMEN IN VEDAS’ IN BULLET POINTS (Post No.7551)

WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Post No.7551

Date uploaded in London – 8 February 2020

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge; this is a non- commercial blog.

The number of female seers in Rig Veda comes to about thirty. This number includes five lady seers of Khilasukta also . Khila is like appendix or supplement.

GHOSA KAKSHIVATI, LOPAMUDRA, APALA, ROMASA, SURYA, JUHU BRAHMAJAYA, SRADDHA KAMAYANI, YAMI, INDRANI, MEDHA, AGASTYAVASA, ATREYI, SASVATI ANGHIRASI, VISWAVARA, SACI PAULOMI, DAUGHTERS OF KASYAPA, OR SIKHANDINS, URVASI, INDRAMATARAH

NON HUMAN FEMININE  CHARACTERS

SARAMA THE BITCH, GODHA THE CORODILE, SARPA RAJNI

INANIMATE FEMININE CHARACTERS

RATRI BHARADWAJI, DAKSHINA  PRAJAPATYA, VAG/SPEECH, NADHI/NADHYAH, SRI, LAKSA

It is pleasing to note that no religious disabilities were associated with women in India down to the end of the Upanishadic age (pre buddha period 600 BCE)

In the Vedic age there is ample evidence to show that the women not only studied the Vedas but also figured among the authors of Rig Vedic hymns. tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

ONLY FOR WOMEN

In the Vedic age there were certain sacrifices  like the Siitaa sacrifice and Rudra sacrifice that could be performed by women alone.

(Siitaa sacrifice at harvest and Rudra sacrifice to ensure fecundity among cattle)

Some women Vedic scholars like Lopaamudraa, Vishwavaaraa and Ghoshaa composed hymns that were later admitted into the sacred canon. Usually Vedic sacrifices were to be offered jointly by the husband and the wife.

The wife took an active part in the daily and periodical sacrifices along with her husband. She had her own hut in the sacrificial compound; the duty of chanting the sSaman hymns  usually fell upon her. tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

FIRST BRICK

The wife used to make the first brick for the sacrificial altar and participate in the consecration of the fire and the offering of oblations.

If the husband is away on a journey, the wife alone performed the different sacrifices which the couple had to do jointly.

Xxx

As women enjoyed the same religious privileges as men and received the same education, their status in the family was nearly the same as that of men. Their status in society also was naturally satisfactory. Many of them were famous scholars and authors. tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

Women in Industries

 It is rather surprising to find that women were taking active part in the industrial life. They were manufacturing arrows and bows, making baskets, weaving cloth and participating in outdoor agricultural work. It is important to note that words like female arrow makers (ishukartryah) do not occur in later literature.

Among the fine arts music and dance have been cultivated by women fairly extensively; their love for and excellence in these arts were well known. Since women were following many outdoor professions there was naturally no ‘purdah’ (face covering veil) in the society. tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

Dampati

The husband and wife were the joint owners of the household and its property. They are called Dampati (Couple).RV 8-31-5/6

Yaa dampatii samanasaa sunuta aa ca

Dhaavalah devaaso niyayaasir

The expression ‘the wife is the home’ shows how woman was the central point of domestic life-RV 3-53-4

Jaayedastammaaghavantsedduyoni

Grhinini /housewife is used in tamil as well as ‘illaal’ tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

POST VEDIC

What living women have proved to be such formative force as, for example, Sati, Sita and Savitri?

What could be better illustrative examples of the true dignity of Indian womanhood than Draupadi, Shakuntalaa, and Gaandhaari?

We hear of great women like Maitreyi, , Gaargi, Arundhati and Liilaavati

Source – Great Women of India and New Horizons of Indological Research tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

TAGS – Vedic Women, Vedic Poetesses, Rig Veda

–subham–

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1 Comment

  1. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan published a book by Dr. Shakuntala Rao Shastri in mid-60s on “Women In The Vedic Age”. I believe this subject is covered there. As I read it over 50 years ago, I am not able to give exact details. Nor am I able to readily find the book in my personal collection, to give exact references. This book must be available in some good library.
    The restrictions on women taking up Vedic studies seems to be a later development, probably in reaction to foreign invasions, when women became the main victims. But this has become the orthodox stand now.

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