Written by London swaminathan
Date: 12 March 2017
Time uploaded in London:- 19-37
Post No. 3717
Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.
There is a saying in all old Sanskrit and Tamil books that ‘Husband is God’; I don’t know how many modern Hindu women would agree with this ‘old fashioned’ thought. When I was a school by there was, a film titled ‘Kanavane Kankanda Deivam’ i.e. Husband is the visible God! Now people may laugh at this idea, leave alone believing it!
The second idea repeated very often in 2000 year old Sangam Tamil Literature and Sanskrit literature is that the ‘same husband must come as her husband in future births’!! How many women would dare to say this to her husband in private or in public? How many women can tolerate such a thing if it happens!! Is in it horrible?
My mother had never said my father’s name in public! This is the third old fashioned idea that Hindu women had in the past. Now, my wife says my name loud and clear ten times in public when there was an opportunity to say it. But I myself had the difficulty of finding a gentleman’s’ name in a village, when I was working as the secretary of Madurai District RSS (Jilla Karyavah). The woman refused to say her husband’s name when I asked her and she gave me lot of tips and clues! It was like a puzzle I had to solve!
For instance if her husband’s name is Rama chandran, she would say her husband’s name is Sita’s husband name. If I say just Rama , then she will say ‘yes’ and add the moon with that name! Then I have to derive Rama Chandra from that! (Chandran is the Sanskrit word for moon)!
I don’t know how many Hindu women still believe in these ‘’old fashioned’’ views.
If you dare to put these views to any woman and ask her opinion, she may say ‘NO’ or a conditional YES (if my husband is like Rama, ‘YES’, if he is like Krishna ‘NO’)!
Let me give examples from Tamil and Sanskrit books:-
“Supressing his sobs, Rama replied to his mother, who was weeping, and said:- As long as sge lives, a woman’s god and her master is her husband; further the king is thine absolute lord as well as mine.”
This is a conversation between Rama and Kausalya about Kaikeyi and Dasaratha.
“By obedience to her husband, a woman attains the highest heaven, even if she has failed to render due homage to the Gods.”
–Ayodhya kanda, chapter 24, Vlmiki Ramayana
Tamil Poet supports Valmiki
Tiruvalluvar, author of Tamil Veda, Tirukkural says
“A wife who may not worship God but wakes up with worshipful devotion to her husband has the power to make rainfall at her bidding”- Kural 55
In fact Tiruvalluvar’s wife Vasuki is attributed with so many miracles because of her devotion to her husband.
Valmiki has repeated this in many places; one more instance from the same Ayodhya kanda:
“O, son of an illustrious monarch! a father, a mother, a brother, a son or a daughter-in-law enjoy the fruit of their merits and receive what is their due, a wife alone follows the destiny of her husband. For a woman it is not her father or her son nor her mother friends nor her own self, but the husband who in this world and the next is ever her sole means of salvation.”
Sita said this to her husband Rama.
In Kalidasa’s Raghuvamsa Kavya, Sita says that she would do penance to get Rama as her husband in her next birth!
साहम् तपः सूर्यनिविष्टदृष्टिः
ऊर्ध्वम् प्रसूतेश्चरितुम् यतिष्ये।
भूयो यथा मे जननान्तरेऽपि
त्वमेव भर्ता न च विप्रयोगः ॥ १४-६६
sāham tapaḥ sūryaniviṣṭadṛṣṭiḥ
ūrdhvam prasūteścaritum yatiṣye |
bhūyo yathā me jananāntare’pi
tvameva bhartā na ca viprayogaḥ || 14-66
Thus situated, I shall, after the birth of the child, endeavour to practise penance with my eyes fixed on the sun in such a manner that I may gain you as my unseparated husband. [14-66]
But, once Thy son is born,/Unswerving I shall fix my weary eyes/On yon bright Sun, and by severest modes/Of penance strive that in some future life/Thou only be my Lord, my Lord for aye!
(It is called Panchagni penance, i.e. Five Fire Penance. Uma did this type of penance to get Siva s her husband in Kalidasa’s Kumara sambhava. On four sides there will be fire and one would stand in the sun which is the fifth fire. And in this heat the penance would be done).
Tamil Epic Silappadikaram has the following passage:
In a divine chariot at the side of Kovalan, Kannnaki went up to heaven.. Because it is a fact that Gods will worship her who worships not God but worships her husband, Kannaki, that jewel among women of the earth, became a goddess and the guest of the ladies of heaven (Katturai Kaathai, Silappadikaram)
Manimekalai, another Tamil epic, has a similar passage.
Tamil work Kuruntokai (49) of Sangam Period has a similar poem:
A man left the courtesan and returned to his lady love. Immediately the lady was over the moon and said, “ O , My Lord, even in the next birth you must be my lord and I must be your lover.—Poet Ammuvanar.
A wife cried because…………………………..
Tiruvalluvar, author of the Tamil Veda Tirukkura says,
“The moment I said we will not part IN THIS LIFE
Her eyes were filled with tears” – Kural 1315
the idea is that when her husband stated that they will not part in the PRESENT LIFE, she immediately held, that he was envisaging the possibility of their parting in the next life, which she did not kindly take to. Hence the tears.
Kalidasa says Aja and Indumati became husband and wife again in this birth. (Raghuvamsa 7-15)
रतिस्मरौ नूनमिमावभूताम् राज्ञाम् सहस्रेषु तथा हि बाला।
गतेयमात्मप्रतिरूपमेव मनो हि जन्मान्तरसंगतिज्ञम्॥ ७-१५
rājñām sahasreṣu tathā hi bālā |
mano hi janmāntarasaṁgatijñam || 7-15
“These two are undoubtedly Rati Devi and Manmatha in human form… that is why this maiden has chosen Prince Aja as her own match from among thousands of kings… after all, it is heart that cognises connubial tie-ups existing in all lifecycles… [ raghu vamsa 7-15]
Natrinai (Verse 397 by Poet Ammuvanar) is another book in the Sangam literature. A woman laments: I am not worried about death; whoever is born must die. But if I am born as a non-human being in my next birth I may not get this man as my husband. That is what worries me much”.
There are lot of such examples in Tamil and Sanskrit literature. This is a common thought reflected in Manu Smrti and other Sanskrit works. It is amazing to see the same though from land’s southernmost end to the Northern Himalayas. The absence of such a view in other cultures explode the Aryan Dravidian divisions. India is one and there is no different culture. There is only one culture which is unique in the world.