Custom of Garlanding and Flower Giving in Tamil and Sanskrit Literature (Post No.3550)

Giving Flowers to a woman began in India.

 

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 16 January 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 21-06

 

Post No.3550

 

 

Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.

 

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

 

Garlanding statues of Gods and leaders, garlanding visiting dignitaries are common sights in India. Exchanging garlands is a marriage ritual as well. Giving flowers to women, offering flowers to Gods are also an everyday sight in India. All these started with the Hindus thousands of years ago according to Sanskrit and Tamil literature.

 

Jayamala ceremony is part of a marriage in North and South, showing Indian culture is one.

In my article FLOWERS IN TAMIL CULTURE posted on 25th August 2012, I have dealt with the Flower vendors in Sangam Tamil Literature, Kapilar’s listing of 99 flowers, Tamil classification of flowers, Tamil’s obsession with flowers even in the wars, 27 leaves to God Vinayaka, Famous Andal garland of Srivilliputtur, Onam Pukkolam and Pushpanchali.

 

Garlands are used from the Swayamvara (A princess choosing a King as her husband by garlanding) days.

 

Giving flowers to women was also started by the Hindus at least 2000 years ago. Let me give some examples from Kalidasa’s works:-

 

In the most famous drama of Sakuntala (Act 7-1), we read about garlands:

“Glancing up with a smile at Jayanta, his son

who stood beside him longing inwardly for the same,

Hari placed around my neck the Mandara garland

tinged with golden sandal rubbed off his chest”

 

 

 

In the Kumara Sambhava (3-22), the Master’s command is imagined to be a garland offered as a gift of favour.

In the Raghu vamsa (18-29)the king was, as it were, the crest garland of his race suggesting thereby the marks of a good rule.

The Love god whose energy had diminished with the departure of spring seems to be regaining his vim and vigour through the head hair of pretty women, for they are letting it loose after a bath aesthetically, per-fumigating it tastefully, and slicing evening jasmine flowers pleasingly. [16-50]

 

(Kiraataarjuniiyam also has a reference).

 

 

In the Raghuvamsa (6-80), Indumati’s glance itself was like the Swayamvara garland to Aja. The flowers in the garland were fresh and white and her steady glances were also white.

Keeping flowers in the ear or just above the ear is also mentioned in Kalidasa:-

Meghaduta. – 28, 67

 

“Where women toy with a lotus held in hand

twine fresh jasmines in the hair

the beauty of their faces glows pale gold

dusted with the pollen of lodhra flowers

fresh amaranth blooms encircle the hair-knot

a delicate Sirisa mestles at the ear

and on the hair parting lie Kadamba blossoms

born at your coming (verse 67, Megaduta)

 

Sakuntala : 1-4; 1-30; 6-18; in the prologue as well.

 

Raghu.7-26; 9-28, 9-43, 16-62

In the Tamil literature

Flower or tender plant in the ear:

Kurinjip paattu (Kapilar) 119-120

Tiru murukku-(Nakkirar)-30-31; 207

Paripaatal – 11-95; 12-88

 

GIVING FLOWERS TO A WOMAN

Kuruntokai belongs to Sangam period. The very first verse is about a man giving flowers to a woman he loves. It is sung by Tiputolar.

 

Natrinai, part of 2000 year old Tamil Sangam Literature, describes the garland worn by a man who came to see his lady love. He came wearing a garland made up of wild jasmine flowers and Bilva (Vilvam) leaves. Kalidasa also mentioned jasmine flowers in the hair of women. It showed that there was only one culture from the southern most part to the Northern Himalayas.

 

one of the verses in Marutham genre describes that when the farmers go to the fields, heroines (women) get flowers and garlands.

Natrinai verse 173 says that the women gathered flowers and made into a garland for Lord Skanda. She did it to so that her lover would marry her soon.

Purananuru verse 106 by Kapilar mentions that god wont reject even leaves and grass offered, reflecting the Bhagavad Gita verse 9-26 (Patram pushpam phalam toyam……)
This flower giving and garlanding is another proof to show that Indian culture is one from south to north and the Aryan-Dravidian Race theory is a fake one. No ancient culture has this flower culture.

–Subham–

 

Causes of Destruction: Woman and Brahmin (Post No.3541)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 13 January 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 21-44

 

Post No.3541

 

 

Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.

 

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

 

What causes one’s destruction? Sanskrit scholars (Pundits) have a list; they have compiled the list out of past experience. I am pretty sure we can find lot of examples for each category.

 

Vinaasahetavah (causes of destruction):

Strii – ruupam = woman is destroyed by her beauty.

Chittoor Rani Padmini is a good example; her beauty made Aaludin Khilji to invade the Rajput Kingdom and she had t jump into fire along with her friends to save her honour.

Brahmana-rajaseva = Brahmins by service to the king

Nanda vamsa kings are typical xamples; they ridiculed all the Brahmins including Chanakya; first the Brahmins suffered at the hands of the Nava Nandas and then Chanakya destroyed them. Parasurama’s clash with kshatriyas is also famous

 

Gavah duurapracaarana= Cows by grazing distant field

Many of the village disputes are due to the cows grazing someone else’s field, usualy away fom one’s own field.

 

Hiranya lobhalipsaa – Gold by greed; here gold stands for all sorts of wealth. Most of the non violent prisoners are jailed because of their greediness.

Strii vinasyati ruupena braahmano raajasevayaa

Gaavo duuraprachaarena hiranyam lobhalipsayaa

–Subhasita ratna bhadaagaaram 153/19

 

Garuda Purana also has a similar couplet (sloka):-

ruupena strii = woman by beauty

krodhena tapah = penance by anger

duuraprachaarena gaavah = cows by distance gracing

ksudraannena dvijaah = Brahmins by eating unhygienic food.

 

Striyo nasyanti ruupena tapah krodhena nasyati

Gaavo duuraprachaarena kshudraannena dwijottamaah

Garuda Purana 115-7

 

xx x

Causes for the Fall of Brahminhood: Manu

Viprasya naasahetu

Veda- anabhyaasa = not learning the Vedas

Acaaravarjana = abandoning the codes of conduct

Aalasya = lethargy

Annadosa = disrespect for food

 

anabhyaasena vedaanaamaachaarasya sa varjanaat

aalasyaadannadoosaaccha mrtyurvipraandhaamsati

–Manu Smrti 5-4

 

Source Book: Encyclopaedia of Numerals (Volume 1)

The Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute, Chennai 600 004, Year 2011

 

Pearl is available from Twenty Sources! (Post No.3538)

a6727-nose_ring_wikipedia

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 12 January 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 20-20

 

Post No.3538

 

 

Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.

 

 

contact:  swami_48@yahoo.com

Tamil literature lists 20 places as the sources of pearls . Biologists know only one place where pearl is born. Sanskrit literature lists only eight places but these are not scientifically proved.

Twenty places according to Tamil verse from Uvamana Sangraham and Rathina Surukkam:
Oysters
Horn of elephant/tusk
Horn of boar

Bamboos

Areca nut Tree

Special Type of Banana Tree

Chalanchalam (Rare Type of right whorld Chank

Hear of Fish

Head of Crane

Lotus

Neck of women

Sugar cane

Paddy

Snake (cobra)

Clouds

Iguana

Moon

Chanks

Head of a crocodile
Teeth of cows

Varahamihira lists the following eight places in his Brhat Samhita:-

 

Following is from 2015 post: “Eight Types of Pearls: Varahamihira’s 1500 year old Price list”

17f95-pearl-large

Pearls are produced by:

Elephants, Oysters, Snakes, Clouds, Chanks, Bamboos, Whales, Boar (Brhat Samhita, Chapter 81)

Pearls come from eight areas

 

Simhalaka (Sri Lanka), Paraloka (Travancore coast), Surashtra (Gujarat), Tampraparani River (in South Tamil Nadu), Parasava (Iran), a Nothern country, Pandya vataka and the Himalayas.

Kautilya’s Artha Shastra (Third Century BCE) mentioned Pandya Kavata pearl. Fahien (399-414 CE) mentioned Simhala/Sri Lankan pearls.

Paraloka is a confusing term. There is one river called Parali in Kerala and there is an island Parali in the Lakshadweep. But the interesting thing is that itself sounds pearl in Tamil (Paral in Tamil is pearl in English and this town name is Paral+i).

Elephant Pearls:

 

Pearls are also obtained from the head and tusks of Bhadra class of elephants, says Varahamihira. But Varahamihira makes it clear that he repeats what the ancients believed about the elephant pearls. (This means they are not found even in Varahamihira days who lived around 510 CE)

He speaks about the pearls found in Boar tusk, Whales etc. Then he gives details about the pearls that are found in the seventh layer of winds. But the heaven dwellers will catch them before it falls on to earth!

Then he categorises Nagaratna as pearls. If the kings wear Nagaratna pearls enemies will be destroyed and his reputation will increase.
Kalidasa speaks of pearls from the head of elephants

xxx

From my 2012 post “Gem Stones in Kalidasa and Sangam Literature”

 
Pearl in the Oyster

 

If the rain falls on Swati star day the oysters open their mouth to drink the rain drops and the rain drops become pearls-This was the belief of ancient Indians including Tamils.
Bhartruhari and Sangam Tamil literature say that the pearls are created by the oysters on a particular day,I.e. The oysters open their mouths when there is rain falling down on a day under the star Swati(one of the 27 stars ). Biologists say that the sand particles that enter the living oysters secrete a liquid which covers the irritant to become a pearl.
Malavi.1-6: Kalidasa says , ‘the skill of a teacher imparted to a worthy pupil attains greater excellence, as the water of a cloud is turned in to a pearl in a sea shell.In Puram 380 ,Karuvur Kathapillay says the same about the origin of pearls. Bhartruhari makes it more specific by saying the rain on Swati Nakshatra days become pearls. Biologits also confirm on full moon days lot of sea animals like corals release their eggs or spores. So far as India is concerned it might have happened in that particular (Swati star with Moon) season.

Kalidasa gives more similes about pearls. He describes the river that is running circling a mountain as a garland of pearls ( Ragu.13-48 and Mega.-49)

Other references from Kalidasa: sweat drops as pearl:Rtu.6-7; tears as pearls: Mega 46, Ragu VI 28,,Vikra V 15; smile-KumarI-44, water drops on lotus leaf:Kumara VII 89

 

Pearls obtained from the head of elephants:Kumarasambhava 1-6, Raghu.9-65; In Tamil literature: Murugu 304, Malaipadu 517, Puram 170Natri.202, Kurinchi.36, Akam.282 etc.

 

In Tamil the teeth are compared to the pearls: Ainkur. 185, Akam 27

Since Gulf of Mannar is the main source of pearls in India ,thre are innumerable references to pearls in Tamil literature. Even Kautilya refers to the pearls from Pandya country. Korkai was the harbour city where the pearl fishing was flourishing. Aink 185,188, Akam 27,130 and Natri 23mention pearls from Korkai.

(for more information, go to  the two articles mentioned  by me

–Subham–

 

பெண்கள் விளையாட்டுகள் (Post No.3537)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 12 January 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 9-31

 

Post No.3537

 

 

Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.

 

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

பெண்கள் விளையாட்டுகள்:

 

அந்தக் காலத்தில் திருமணமாகும் வரை பெண்கள் என்ன என்ன விளையாடினர் என்று ஒரு பாட்டின் மூலம் தெரிகிறது. இது முற்றிலும் சரி என்பது சங்கத் தமிழ் பாடல்களாலும், ராமாயண, மஹாபாரத நூல்களாலும் உறுதியாகிறது:-

 

மருங்குவளர் பூங்கா மலர்வாவி யூச

றிருந்துமணி செய்குன்று தேமா- விரும்பமுத

பானங்கிளி பூவை பந்துகன்னங் கழங்கன்ன மயின்

மான்முல்லை பந்தர் வளர்ப்பு

–உபமான சங்கிரஹம் இரத்தினச் சுருக்கம்

72363-broken2bbest

1.பூங்காவில் பூக்கள் பறித்து விளையாடினர்.

2.பொய்கை, கிணறுகளில் நீராடிப் பொழுது போக்கினர்.

3.வீட்டிலும் மரத்தடியிலும் ஊஞ்சல் கட்டி ஆடினர்.

4.பணக்காரர் வீடுகளில் செயற்கையாக குன்று எழுப்பி அதில் ரத்தினக் கற்களைப் பதித்துவைத்து அதன் மேல் ஆடி ஓடி சாடினர்.

5.தேமாமரம் விளையாடினர் (மாமரத்தில் ஏறி அல்லது கல் விட்டெறிந்து மாங்காய், மாம்பழம் எடுத்துச் சாப்பிடுதல்) .

6.அமிர்தம் போன்ற பானங்கள் செய்து குடித்தனர்.

7.காய்களை வைத்து கழங்கு ஆடினர்;

8.பூப்பந்து ஆடினர்.

9.கிளி, பூவை (சாரிகைப் பறவை), அன்னம், மயில் ஆகிய பறவைகள் வளர்த்து பொழுது போக்கினர்.

10.முல்லைப் பூச்செடிக்கு பந்தல் கட்டி வளர்த்து அதைப் பராமரித்தனர். முல்லை என்றால் அது போன்ற பிறவகை மலர்ச் செடிகளும் அதில்  அடங்கும்.

 

ஐந்து தொழில்கள்

அம்பொற்றொடியணிமினார் தங்கைக்கைந்து தொழில்

செம்பவள மென்விரலைச் சேர்த்தெண்ணலம்பெழுதல்

பூசித்திலை கிள்ளல் பூத்தொடுத்தல் பண்ணெழில்யாழ்

வாசித்தலென்றுரை செய்வார்

–உபமான சங்கிரஹம் இரத்தினச் சுருக்கம்

 

பொருள்:-

அழகிய பொன்னினாற் செய்யப்பட்ட வளையலை அணிந்த மாதர் கைகளுக்கு ஐந்து தொழில்கள் உண்டு. (அவையாவையெனின்) 1.செம்பவளம் போன்ற மென்மையான விரல்களைச் சேர்த்து எண்ணுதல்,

2.அம்பின் உருவத்தை எழுதல்,

3.பூசை செய்து இலை பறித்தல்,

4.மலர் தொடுத்தல்,

5.பண்ணொடு கூடின அழகாகிய வீணை வாசித்தல் என்று சொல்வர்.

 

சங்க இலக்கியத்திலும் சம்ஸ்கிருத இலக்கியத்திலும் இந்த விளையாட்டுகள்வரும் இடங்களை தனியே எழுதுகிறேன்

–Subahm–

 

 

 

 

32 அறங்கள், 16 பேறுகள், 8 மங்களச் சின்னங்கள் (Post No. 3507)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 2 January 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:-  9-27 am

 

Post No.3507

 

 

Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.

 

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

 

 

பூங்கா வைத்து மலர்ச் செடிகளை வளர்த்தல், கோவிலில் நந்தவனம் அமைத்து பூஜைக்கு வேண்டிய மரம் செடி கொடிகளை வளர்த்தல். தல மரங்கள் என்ற பெயரில் பல்வேறு மரங்களுக்கு சிறப்பான இடம் தருதல், ஏழைகளுக்கு சத்திரம் அமைத்து உணவு கொடுத்தல், மருந்து கொடுத்தல், பிராணிகளுக்கு உணவும் நீரும் கிடைக்க ஏற்பாடு செய்தல் முதலிய ஏராளமான அறப் பணிகள் அந்தக் காலத்திலேயே நடைபெற்றன.

 

சிறைச்சாலைக் கைதிகளுக்கு உணவு கொடுத்தல் மேலை நாட்டிலும் இல்லாத ஒரு நூதன விஷயம். மன்னர்களின் பட்டாபிஷேகம், இளவரசர் பிறப்பு, திருமணம் ஆகிய காலங்களில் கைதிகளை மன்னித்து விடுதலை செய்தல் போன்ற பல அறப்பணிகள் நடந்துள்ளன. அறப்பணிகளுக்கான ஆதாரபூர்வ கல்வெட்டு அசோகர் சாசன காலத்திருந்து கிடைக்கின்றன. மஹாபாரத, ராமாயணம், அர்த்த சாத்திரம் முதலிய நூல்களிலும் கிடைக்கின்றன. மிகவும் நாகரீக முன்னேற்றம் உடைய ஒரு நாட்டில் மட்டுமே இத்தகைய சிந்தனைகள் எழும். சமூக சேவையில் பாரதம் உலகிற்கு வழிகாட்டியது என்று சொன்னால் மிகையில்லை

 

உவமான சங்ரகம் என்ற நூலில் எட்டு மங்கலச் சின்னங்கள் (அஷ்ட மங்கலம்), 16 பேறுகள், 32 அறங்கள் செய்யுள் வடிவில் உள்ளன.

செய்யுள் வடிவில் இருப்பதால் இரண்டு நன்மைகள்:- ஒன்று மனப்பாடம் செய்து நினைவில் வைப்பது எளிது. இரண்டாவது  இடைச்செருகலுக்கோ, மாற்றங்களுக்கோ வாய்ப்புகள் குறைவு.

 

 

1).வண்ணான் புன்னாவிதன் காதோலை சோலை மடந்தடம் வெண்

சுண்ணாம் பறவைப் பிணஞ்சுடற் றூரியஞ் சோறளித்தல்

கண்ணாடி யாவிற்குரிஞ்சுதல் வாயுறை கண்மருந்து

தண்ணீர் பந்தற் றலைக்கெண்ணை பெண்போகந் தரலையமே

 

2).மேதகுமாதுலர்க்குசாலை யேறுவிடுத்தல் கலை

யோதுவார்க் குண்டி விலங்கிற் குணவோடுயர்பிணிநோய்க்

கிதன் மருந்து சிறைச் சோறளித்தலியல் பிறரின்

மதுயற்காத்தநற்கந்நியர் தானம் வழங்கலுமே

 

3).கற்றவறுசமயத்தார்க் குணவு கருதும் விலை

உற்றதளித்துயிர் மீட்டல் சிறார்க்குதவனற்பான்

மற்று மகப்பெறுவித்தல் சிறாரை வளர்த்த்லெனப்

பெற்றவிவற்றினையெண்ணான்கறமெனப் பேசுவாரே

-உபமானசங்கிரஹம், இரத்தினச் சுருக்கம்

 

32 அறச் செயல்களின் பட்டியல்:-

1.ஆதுலர்க்குச் சாலை (ஏழைகள்=ஆதுலர்)

2.ஓதுவார்க்கு உணவு (மாணவர்களுக்கு)

3.அறுசமயத்தோர்க்கு உண்டி (உணவு)

4.பசுவிற்கு வாயுரை (உணவு)

5.சிறைக் கைதிகளுக்கு உணவு

6.ஐயமிட்டு உண் (பிச்சை போடுதல்)

7.திண்பண்டம் நல்கல் (விழாக் காலங்களில் பொங்கல், வடை)

8.அறவைச் சோறு (அன்னதானம்)

9.மகப்பெறுவித்தல் (பிள்ளை பெறுதல்)

10.மகவு வளர்த்தல் (பிள்ளைகளை வளர்த்தல்)

11.மகப்பால் வார்த்தல் (அவர்களுக்கு பால் வழங்கல்)

 

12.அறவைப் பிணஞ்சுடல் (அனாதைகள் இறுதிச் சடங்கு)

13.அறவைத் தூரியம் ( தூரியம்=மேள வாத்தியம்

அளித்தல்)

14.சுண்ணம் அளித்தல்

15.நோய்க்கு மருந்து வழங்கல்

16.வண்ணார்

17.நாவிதர்

18.காதோலை

19.கண்ணாடி

20.கண்மருத்து

21.தலைக்கு எண்ணெய்

 

22.பெண்போகம்

23.பிறர்துயர் காத்தல்

24.தண்ணீர் பந்தல்

  1. மடம் அமைத்தல்

26.குளம் வெட்டல்

27.பூங்கா வைத்தல்

28.ஆவுறுஞ்சுதறி (பசு முதலிய பிராணிகளுக்கு நீர்)

29.விலங்கிற்குணவு

30.ஏறுவிடுத்தல் (இனப்பெருக்கத்த்துக்கு காளைகள்)

31.விலைகொடுத்துயிர்காத்தல்

32.கன்னிகாதானம்

 

எட்டு மங்களச் சின்னங்கள்

 

சாற்றுங்கவரி நிறைகுடந்தோட்டிமுன் றர்ப்பணமா

மேற்றிய தீபம் முர்சம் பதாகை யிணைக்கயலே

நாற்றிசை சூழ்புவி மீதஅட்ட நன்குழையின்

மேற்றிதழ் வேற்றடங்கட்செய்ய வாய்ப்பைம்பொன்ந்த் மெய்த்திருவே

 

கவரி, நிறைகுடம் (பூர்ணகும்பம்),  தோட்டி(அங்குசம்),  தர்ப்பணம் (கண்ணாடி), தீபம், முரசம், பதாகை (கொடி), இணைக்கயல் ( இரட்டை மீன்)– ஆகியன அட்டமங்கலம் எனப்படும்.

 

 

வேண்டுநற்சுற்ற மிராசாங்க மக்கள்மேவு பொன்ம ணி

யாண்டிடுந்தொண்டு நெல்வாகன மாமிவை யட்டசெல்வங்

காண்டவி சீதல் கால்கெழு நீரொடு முக்குடி

நீராண்டளித்  தேபுனலாட்டனல் லாடை யணிதல்பினே

 

நல் சுற்றம், ராஜாங்கம், பிள்ளைகள் தங்கம், அணிவதற்குரிய ஆடை, ஆளுதர்க்குரிய அடிமை, நெல் முதலிய தானியம், வாஹனம் – இவையே அட்ட ஐஸ்வர்யம் (எட்டு செல்வங்கள் ) எனப்படும்.

 

16 பேறுகள்

 

பதினாறு பேறுகள் பற்றிய ஐந்து பாடல்களை ஏற்கனவே கொடுத்துள்ளேன். 16 பேறுகள்;

 

அழகு, வலிமை, இளமை, நன் மக்கள், நல்ல உடல்நலம், நீண்ட ஆயுள், நிலம், பெண், தங்கம், அறிவு, உற்சாகம்,கல்வி, வெற்றி, புகழ், மரியாதை, தானியம் (உணவுப் பொருட்கள்).

 

ஐந்து கவிஞர்கள் பாடிய “பதினாறும் பெற்றுப் பெறுவாழ்வு வாழ்க”! –Posted on 2nd July 2014.

 

–subham–

 

 

8 Auspicious Things, 16 Gifts and 32 Charitable Acts! (Post No.3505)

 Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 1 January 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:-  19-50

 

Post No.3505

 

 

Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.

 

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

 

Ancient Hindu poets have composed poems to remember important things in life. Uvamana Sangraham is a book that contains good verses giving details of Eight Auspicious Symbols, Sixteen Good Fortunes or God Given Gifts in life and 32 Charitable Acts.

According to it, the Eight Auspicious (Ashta Mangla) symbols are:

1.Fly whisk 2.Purna Kumbha/Pot 3.Mirror 4Ankusam/Goad 5. Drum 6.Flag 7. Two Fishes 8.Lamp

Eight Precious Things (Aiswarya) are

1.Good Relatives 2.Good Government 3.Good Children 4.Gold 5. Clothing 6.Servants 7. Grains (food items) 8. Vehicles for Transport

 

16 God Given Gifts

1.Strength 2. Youthfulness 3.Good Children 4.Good Health 5. Long Life span 6. Lands 7. Woman/wife 8. Gold 9. Intelligence 10. Enthusiasm 11. Education 12. Victory 13. Fame 14. Respect 15. Grains/Food Items 16. Beauty

 

32 Charitable Acts

Provision of 1.Washerman 2.Barber 3.Ear Ornament 4.Mutts 5.Public Gardens 6.Public Tanks 7.Lime 8. Cremating bodies of Orphans 9. Fodder for Cows 10. Medicine for Eye sight 11. Water Provision by erecting Pandals/Thatched Sheds 12.Oil for head 13.Rescuing people from Danger 14. Milk for Children 15. Giving birth to children 16. Raising them 17. Setting Orphanage 18.Food for learners/students 19.Food for all animals 20. Medicine for the sick 21. Providing Bulls for breeding 22. Serving food in Prisons 23.Solving the difficulties of People/Community Service 24. Help for Marriage 25. Food for mendicants 26. Provision of Snacks 27. Help for clothing 28. Provision of women 29. Shelter for the Poor 30.Giving to Beggars 31. Water Drinking Places for cows 32.Provision of Mirrors

–Subham–

 

 

Eastern and Western View of Women (Post No. 3486)

Compiled by London swaminathan

 

Date: 26 December 2016

 

Time uploaded in London:-  14-57

 

Post No.3486

 

 

Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.

 

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

There is good and bad said about women in all the literatures of the world. To take one quotation out of context and interpret it as the author’s view about women is wrong. There are lots of praise for women in the Vedic mantras  (Marriage Hymns); in the Upanishads they are shown as spiritually inclined; in the Hindu epics Draupadi, Savitri, Sita and others are shown as intelligent women. When it came to Kaikeyi, Tadaka and Surphanakha we see diametrically opposite views. It is same in Tamil literature as well. When the poets sing about young women they praise their beauty. When the same women are shown as concubines or harlots they are condemned. As Mothers, they command the highest respect in Hindu literature, which is not seen in any other ancient literature. If we consider the Vedic age they command more praise and respect than any other period (Please see my earlier posts on Manu and others on women)

 

BHARATIYAR

The lock is opened by the hand

And good mind by the intellect;

It is tune that opens he song

And women the home of delight–Tamil Poet Bharati

 

It is mother’s milk that gives us strength

While the wife’s kind words reap our harvest of fame

As women’s blessedness blasts all evil,

let us rejoice with linked hands.

Blow the conch! Dance in joy!

For woman is sweeter than life itself.

She the protectress of life, and creatrix too;

She is the life of our life, and the soul of sweetness

 

We will grow lofty by dint of merit;

we will rub off the old stigmas;

if men take us fully as their equals Attributing nought of defects to us

We will join them and labour in the fight

To win back our nation and retrieve –Tamil Poet Bharati

 

Gone are the days who said to woman: Thou shall not

Open the Book of Knowledge

And the strange ones who boasted saying:

We will immure these women in our homes

Today they hang down their heads–Tamil Poet Bharati

 

Thou to me the flowing Light

And I to thee the discerning sight

Honeyed blossom thou to me

Bee enchanted I to thee

O Heavenly Lamp with shining ray

P Krishna, love, O nectar-sparay

With faltering tongue and words that pant

Thy glories here I strive to chant

–Tamil Poet Bharati

 

 

 HOMER

O woman, woman, when to ill thy mind

Is bent all hell contains no fouler fiend – The Odyssey, XI

 

For since of womankind so few are just

Think all are false, nor even the faithful trust– The Odyssey XI

xxx

 

The time for trusting women’s gone forever!- The Odyssey XI

A man shall walk behind a lion rather than behind a woman- Babylonian Talmud

And I find more bitter than death the women, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands – Ecclesiastes XXV-19

 

Women are the gate of hell – St Jerome

Nothing is  worse than a woman, even a good one – Menander

Women have no souls – Lewis Wager

xxx

 

 

SHAKESPEARE

Down from the waist they are Centaurs

Though women all above;

But to the girdle do the gods inherit

Beneath is all the fiends

There is hell, there is darkness, there is sulphrous pit

Burning, scalding, stench, consumption;

Fie, fie, puh, pah

Give me an ounce of civet, good Apothecary,

to sweeten my imagination there is money for thee

-King Lear Act 4, Scene 6

 

age cannot wither her, nor custom stale

Her infinite variety; other women cloy

The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry

Where most she satisfies; for vilest things

Become themselves in her, that the holy priests

Bless her when she is riggish

–Antony and Cleopatra Act 2, Scene 2

xxx

PATTINATHAR

O peafowl like woman adorned with garlands

Of bourgeoning flowers, the one that just now

Quested for you, had gone away; compose yourself.

If you earn for me I will kick you on your hips

And if I think of you, you kick me – Pattinathar, Tamil saint

xxx

 

 

KALHANA

For, a woman who has sold her soul for love, reveals the changed attitude (towards her husband), due to the orgy of the demon of unchastity -Rajatarangini 3-501

O these wretched women, pursuers of physical love, barren of thought, by whom men are soon hurled downward-Rajatarangini 3-513

Women being quick-witted analyse, at the same time while they are lamenting, their altered position and sons even while they are by the side of the funeral pyre discuss the material and moral condition-Rajatarangini 7-734

xxxx

Thou to me the Harp of Gold

And I do thee the finger bold;

Necklace shining thou to me

New-set diamond I to thee;

O mighty queen with splendour rife

O Krishna, Love, O well of life

Thine eyes do shed their light on all

Wherever turn, their beams do fall

–Tamil Poet Bharati

Bharati’s poems are translated by several scholars and published by Tamil University, Thanjavur

 

–Subham–

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Wife is a Gift from the Gods- Manu Smrti (Post No 3325)

Compiled  by London Swaminathan

 

Date: 6  November 2016

 

Time uploaded in London: 18-08

 

Post No.3325

 

 

Pictures are taken from various sources.

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

 

HINDU MARRIAGES (vivaha)—Part 1

 

(Following is the edited version of  Hindu marriage from the book The Hindu at Home written by The Rev. J E Padfield, published in 1908. He has described the five day marriage in Brahmins’ houses 100 yeaars ago in detail. I will post it tomorrow)

“The nuptial ceremony is considered as the complete institution of women, ordained for them in the Veda, together with reference to their husbands (Manu, ii. 67.)

 

HINDU laws and regulations on the marriage question take it for granted that all men and women must marry. It is only those who may be suffering from disqualifications of mind or body that do not marry. There are no old bachelors or old maids amongst the Hindus. It appears quite clear that in Vedic time there was some liberty of choice amongst both men and women, as to their partners; for it is thus written.

 

Love Marriage in not wrong!

 

“Three years let a damsel wait, though she be marriageable; but, after that term, let her choose for herself a bridegroom of equal rank.

If, not being given in marriage, she chooses her bridegroom, neither she nor the youth chosen commit any offence.

 

But a damsel, thus electing her husband, shall not carry with those her the ornaments which she received from her father, nor given by her mother or brethren: if she carries them away, she commits theft (Manu, ix. 90-92.)

A thirty year old man should marry a twelve year old girl who charms his heart, and a man of twenty four, an eight year old girl; and if duty is threatened, he should marry in haste.

A husband takes his wife as a gift from the gods, not by his own wish; he should always support a virtuous woman, thus pleasing the gods- 9-94-96

Vedic Age and Modern Kali Yuga

 

But whatever liberty may have existed in respect in ancient times it very certain that such is not the case now. The institution of child marriage has entirely destroyed that liberty.

 

Amongst Brahmins, and Vaisyas, a boy cannot be married until he has invested with the marks of the twice-born (upanayanam), though they are often married immediately after that event. Girls must be married before puberty and usually it is done  whilst they are quite young.

 

Marriages can only take place between those of the same caste and the same sect. there are also prohibitive degrees of tribe and family which marriages are not allowed. Amongst the larger sects this does not act much as an obstacle but amongst the smaller ones it often causes great difficulty.

 

There are also natural likes and dislikes, some of which are thus alluded to by Manu, and which evidently point to a period when marriages were settled at a more natural age, and in a more natural manner.

 

Don’t marry Talkative Girl!

 

“Let him not marry a girl with reddish hair, nor with any deformed limb, nor one troubled with habitual sickness, nor one either with no hair or with too much, nor one immoderately talkative, nor one with inflamed eyes.

 

“Let him choose for his wife a girl whose form has no defect, who has an agreeable name, who walks gracefully, like a swan, or like a young elephant, whose hair and teeth are moderate respectively in quality and in size, whose body has exquisite softness.” (iii. 8 and 10).

 

The two institutions of polyandry and polygamy exist in India. The former cannot be said as a Hindu institution; indeed it is utterly opposed and  abhorrent to very spirit of  Hinduism.  It is practised by such unorthodox Hindus as the Todas of the Nilgiris and the Nairs of Western Coast. But it is only a local and in no sense a universal custom.

 

Polygamy, however, is a true Hindu institution, and it is duly legislated upon in the various codes. Manu lays down the law as follows:

For the first marriage of the twice born classes, a woman of the same class is recommended; but for men who are driven by desire to marry again women in the direct order of the classes are to be preferred.

(iii. 13)

 

This only alludes to a state of things in those early Vedic days; in this Kali Yuga or degenerate age, though a man may have, and in some cases, should have, more wives than one at the same time, it can only be within strictly recognized caste limits.

One Wife from Each Caste!

 

One of the stories in the Vickramarkacharitra turns upon the fact of a Brahmin being allowed to take to wife a woman from each of the four castes. Now, however, no one, especially a Brahmin, dares to marry outside of his own caste; but, within these  limits, there are circumstances under which it is rather incumbent upon a Hindu than otherwise to take a second wife.

 

When can you marry a Second Wife?

 

Should his wife prove barren, or should all the male issue die, then very often, the husband will be pressed by the wife herself to re-marry, so that there may be surviving male issue, and thus the reproach of the family be wiped away and the future salvation of those concerned fully assured. This concession is, however, guarded round with conditions, some of which are thus stated by Manu:–

 

“A barren wife may be superseded by another in the eighth year, she whose children are all dead in the tenth, she who brings forth only daughters in the eleventh, she who speaks unkindly without delay.” (ix. 81.)

Another condition, not absolutely binding in all cases, is that the first wife should consent to the remarriage. It is not difficult to understand how reluctant a woman would naturally be thus to have a sharer in her husband’s affection.

 

The desire, however, for male issue, indeed the absolute necessity for a son, either born or adopted, is so overpowering that it is not so unusual a thing as might at first be supposed, for a woman, at all and any risk to her own personal happiness or the family, to strongly desire her husband to seek out another woman and bring her to his home.

Cousin Marriage!

 

Amongst the Telugu people ‘menarikam’, which means that a youth should marry his mother’s brother’s daughter, and a girl should marry her father’s sister’s son. Failing such relationships, the choice is left free, that is free within the proper limits of caste and sect.

 

There are, however, some sects of Brahmins who are opposed to this menarikam rule, thinking the blood-relationship is too close for marriage.

 

There is another bar to marriages amongst Hindus that does not exist amongst Europeans, and that is that a younger brother cannot marry until the elder one is married. Neither can a younger sister marry  before the elder one is disposed of. This is not a mere custom,  it is according to what is strictly laid down in the code. Manu says

 

Five people go to hell!

 

“He who makes a marriage contract with the connubial fire, whilst his elder brother continues un married, is called a parivetru and the elder brother a parivitti. The parivetru, the parivitti, the damsel thus wedded, the giver of her in wedlock and fifthly, the performer of the nuptial sacrifice, all sink to a region of torment (Manu, iii. 171, 172.)

 

To be continued…………………..

 

 

A WIFE IS HALF THE MAN: STATUS OF WOMEN IN HINDUISM (Post No.3279)

garba-practice

Compiled by London Swaminathan

 

Date: 23 October 2016

 

Time uploaded in London: 6-53 AM

 

Post No.3279

 

Pictures are taken from Facebook and other sources; thanks. (Pictures are used only for representational purpose; no connection with the current article.)

 

Contact swami_48@yahoo.com

 

babay-mother

This article is available in Tamil as well

 

Sir Moiner Williams gives the following translation of the definition of a wife as found in the Mahabharata :

 

A wife is half the man, his friend;

A loving wife is a perpetual spring

Of virtue, pleasure, wealth; a faithful wife is his best aid in seeking heavenly bliss;

A sweetly- speaking wife is a companion

In solitude, a father in advice,

A rest in passing through life’s wilderness,”

 

 

The woman is part of her husband and so she worships through him; what he does, she does.

The “Yajur Veda says

“The wife is half the self of her husband”.

Ardhova esha atmenoyatpatnii

 

Upon this there is a comment by Brihaspati, some what as follows:

“It has been said that the wife is half the self of her husband, and in consequence she shares equally with him all the good and evil done by him.”

 

A Passage on this subject is quoted from the Padma Purana:

The husband is the beloved of the wife

He is more to her than all the gods. Herself and her husband

Be it known are one person.

Without the consent of her husband

Any kind of worship she must not perform.”

Patireva priya striinaam

Brahmaadibyopi sarvasah

Atmaananca svabarataara mekapindamaniisayaa

Bharturaaknjaam vinaa naiva kinchitdharmam samaasaret

 

With the consent of her husband a wife may go on short pilgrimage without him when he is unable to accompany her, but this is very seldom. Strictly with his consent, she may also perform and keep vows for instance, to do without salt in her food for a stated period or to abstain from milk or various of eatables for a given time. All this is one the object of obtaining for herself or some on to her something desired- wealth, or children, or deliverance from disease.

ammami

Tamil Poet Tiruvalluvar also says,

Even the clouds will obey and pour out rain at the bidding of a wife

Who prefers to worship her husband rather than any other God

-Tirukkural 55

 

SITA SPEAKS:-

There is also a most touchingly beautiful piece in the Ramayana to be found translated into English by Ward (History of the Literature and Mytholoogy of the Hindus (Vol.II, page 408)

 

It purports to be the address of Sita to her husband Rama. Rama was banished by the king, his father Dasaratha, at the instigation of his third wife Kaikeyi, who wished the succession for her own son, Bharata. He was doomed to perpetual exile in the forest, and his wife expresses her determination to go with him.

 

As a beautiful expression of tender affection I cannot refrain from quoting the piece at length. It serves to show that the affectionate nature of a true woman is ever the same, despite its surroundings.

 

“Son of the venerable parent! hear,

‘Tis Seeta speaks. Say art not thou assur’d

That to each being his allotted time

And portion, as his merit, are assign’d

And that a wife her husband’s portion shares

Therefore with thee this forest lot I claim.

A woman’s bliss is found, not in the smile

of father, mother, friend, nor in herself:

Her husband is her only portion here,

Her heaven hereafter. If thou, indeed,

Depart this day into the forest drear,

I will precede, and smooth the thorny way.

O hero brave, as water we reject

In which our nutriment has been prepared

So anger spurn, and every thought unkind,

Unworthy of thy spouse, and by thy side,

Unblam’d, and unforbidden, let her stay.

O chide me not; for where the husband is,

Within the palace, on the stately car,

Or wandering in the air, in every state

The shadow of his foot is her abode.

 

My mother and my father having left,

I have no dwelling place distinct from thee.

Forbid me not, for in the wilderness,

Hard of access, renounce’d by men, and fill’d

With animals and birds of various kind,

And savage tigers, I will surely dwell.

This horrid wilderness shall be to me

Sweet as my father’s house and all the noise

Of the three worlds shall never interrupt

My duty to my lord. A gay recluse,

On thee attending, happy shall I feel

Within this honey-scented grove to roam,

For thou e’en here canst nourish and protect

And therefore other friend I cannot need.

To-day most surely with thee I will go,

And thus resolved, I must not be deny’d.

 

Roots and wild fruit shall be my constant food

Nor will I, near thee, add unto thy cares,

Not lag behind, nor forest-food refuse;

But fearless traverse evr’y hill and dale,

Viewing the winding stream, the craggy rock.

And, stagnant at its base, the pool or lake.

In nature’s deepest myst’ries thou art skill’d

O  hero– and I long with thee to view

 

Those sheets of water, fill’d with nymphaas

Cover’d with ducks, and swans, and silvan fowl

And studded with each wild and beauteous flow’r

In these secluded pools I’ll often bathe

And share with thee, o Rama, boundless joy

Thus could I sweetly pass a thousand years

But without thee e’en heav’n would lose its charms

A residence in heaven, O Raghuvu,

Without thy presence, would no joy afford.

Therefore, though rough the path, I must, I will

The forest penetrates, the wild abode

Of monkeys, elephants, and playful fawn.

Pleas’d to embrace thy feet, I will reside

In the rough forest as my father’s house.

Void of all other wish, supremely thine

Permit me request-I will not grieve

I will not burden thee refuse me not

But shouldst thou, Raghuvu, this prayer deny,

Know, I resolve on death-if torn from thee.

 

poor-namaste

The main question is whether a woman can have any worship at all apart from her husband; she has a kind of daily worship of her own.

 

At the time of her marriage, at the marriage of her children, and at certain other periods and at some festivals, the wife must sit with her husband during the time he is engaged in the performance of certain acts of worship, though she seems to be there only as a kind of complement of her husband takes no and active part in the ceremonies. If a man has lost his wife, he cannot perform any sacrifices by fire (oupasana) which shows that the wife has some indirect connection with the ceremony, and also in part accounts for the anxiety of a widower to remarry.

 

At the midday service when the man per forms the ceremonies before taking food, the wife may attend upon him and hand him the things used by him, but she can take no real part with him. The woman is not a twice-born (dvija) nor does she wear the sacred thread (which is the mark of the second birth (upanayana). She cannot read the Vedas, or even hear them read, nor can she take part in her husband’s sacred services.

onam-cbe

–subham–

தலாக்கிற்கு தலாக் தலாக் தலாக்! (Post No.3256)

talaq-debate

Written by S. NAGARAJAN

Date: 16 October 2016

Time uploaded in London: 6-00 AM

Post No.3256

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks

 

Contact :– swami_48@yahoo.com

 

 

By ச.நாகராஜன்

 talaq2

இந்தியத் திரு நாட்டில் இஸ்லாமியப் பெண்மணிகளுக்கு விடிவுகாலம் பிறக்கப் போகிறது. இது அவர்கள் விரும்பியது, கேட்டது. அவர்களின் மதகுருக்களால் தொடர்ந்து மறுக்கப்படுவது.

வாயால் மூன்று  முறை தலாக் தலாக் தலாக் என்று சொன்னால் போதும், புனிதமான மண உறவு அறுந்து போகும். ஷரியத் சொல்கிறதாம் இப்படி!

அந்த தலாக்கிற்கே ஒரு தலாக் தலாக் தலாக்!

 

உண்மையில் குரான் ஆண்களுக்கும் பெண்களுக்கும் சம உரிமையை அளிக்கிறது. இறைவன் படைப்பில் இருவரும் சமம் என்கிறது.

ஆனால் சுயநலவெறி பிடித்த இஸ்லாமிய மதகுருமார்கள் குரானைத் தவறாகச் சித்தரித்ததை வெளிச்சம் போட்டுக் காண்பிக்கின்றன இஸ்லாமிய மகளிர் அமைப்புகள்.

14-10-2016 அன்று தொலைக்காட்சி நிகழ்ச்சி ஒன்றில் ஆர்னாப் கோஸ்வாமி நடத்திய விவாதத்தில் முஸ்லீம் அமைப்பைச் சேர்ந்த காஷ்மீரி முஸ்லீம் தலைவர் ஒருவர் நான் முதலில் ஒரு முஸ்லீம் பிறகு தான் இந்தியன் என்கிறார்.

அரசியல் அமைப்புச் சட்டத்தின் 25வது பிரிவு மத சுதந்திரத்தை வலியுறுத்துகிறது. அதை வரவேற்று  மத சுதந்திரம் என்ற பெயரில் தான் நினைத்ததை எல்லாம் சொல்லும் அந்த இஸ்லாமியர் முதலில் நான் ஒரு இந்தியன் என்று சொல்லாமல் முதலில் நான் ஒரு முஸ்லீம் என்பது சரியா?

விவாதத்தில் கலந்து கொண்ட ஒருவர் பொது சிவில் சட்டம் வேண்டாம் என்று சொல்கின்ற நீங்கள் பொது கிரிமினல் சட்டத்தை மட்டும் ஏன் எதிர்க்கவில்லை. குற்றம் செய்யும் முஸ்லீம்களை ஷரியத் சட்டத்தின் படி கையை வெட்டி விடலாமா என்று கேட்டார்.

வெட்கம்! பதிலே இல்லை!

மூன்று முறை ஒரு சொல்லைச் சொல்லி விட்டு ஒரு பெண்ணை நிர்க்கதியாக விடும்படி அண்ணல் நபிகள் நாயகம் (ஸல்) சொல்லி இருப்பாரா? மாட்டார் என்கின்றனர் இஸ்லாமிய மகளிர்.

ஏன் இந்திய அரசு அழைக்கும் போது விவாதத்திற்கே வர பயப்படுகின்றனர்.

அவர்களிடம் உண்மை இல்லை, அதனால் தான்! பெண்களை அடிமைகளாகவும் போகப் பொருளாகவும் கருதும் அவர்கள் எண்ணம் தவிடு பொடியாகி உரிய சுதந்திரத்தை இஸ்லாமிய மகளிர் பெறும் நன்னாள் நெருங்குகிறது என நம்புவோமாக!

கீழே கொடுக்கப்பட்டுள்ள ஆங்கிலக் கட்டுரை இஸ்லாமிய மகளிர் அமைப்பினர் எழுதி ஆங்கில பத்திரிகைகளிலும் இணையதளத்திலும் வெளி வந்த ஒன்று.

படித்துப் பார்த்தால் உண்மைகள் புரியும்!

உண்மையில் இஸ்லாமிய மகளிருக்கு ஆதரவாய் இருப்பவர் ஹிந்துக்களே!

என்றும் உள்ள ஹிந்துக்களின் நல்லெண்ணம் தொடரும்.

அவர்களின் உண்மையான எதிரிகள் யார் என்பதை அவர்கள் இப்போது உணர்ந்து விட்டனர்.

ஆங்கிலக் கட்டுரை இதோ:

நன்றி : இணையதளத் தொடுப்புகள்

 talq

Reform in Muslim Personal Law: Triple ‘talaq’ is un-Quranic and must be banned

Zakia Soman and Noorjehan Niaz  Updated: Apr 10, 2016 09:59 IST

Legal reform in personal laws has been one of the critical yet neglected areas in Indian democracy. This reform is for the dignity and equality of women citizens and thereby all Indians — irrespective of religious background. The Sachar Committee appointed by the Prime Minister in 2005 said that Muslims (who comprise the largest minority) live in poverty, economic and educational backwardness. The findings also suggest that on an average only four out of 100 Muslims are graduates.

Now out of these four, how many are women, is open to questioning. On the one hand, Muslim women are excluded educationally and socio-economically owing to government neglect. On the other hand, they suffer from the near absence of any legal framework in matters of family, marriage, divorce, custody of children etc.

An overwhelming 88.3 percent women are opposed to triple ‘talaq’. Image from PTI, for representation only

Unlike those from other communities, Muslim women are denied their legal rights in the personal realm despite Quranic injunctions. Practices such as triple talaq and halala persist in our society despite there being no sanction to these in the Quran.

This situation has arisen thanks to the way the Muslim personal law is understood and practised in India. The whole arena is mired in ambiguity, obfuscation and gross apathy owing to the stranglehold of conservative patriarchal elements who have hegemonised this space forever. Fourteen hundred years ago, the Quran gave clear rights to women in marriage, family, society and public life but in reality there has been a persistent denial of these rights. So much so, that a perception has arisen, that in Islam, men have superiority over women.

Within several conservative sections the dominant belief seems to be that Muslim women need to live a life of subjugation within the four walls of a home. The hegemony of the patriarchal forces has continued post-1947 till date. The attempts by Muslim women such as Shayara Bano and several others is a cry for justice and for a halt to rampant violations of their rights in marriage and family.

The absence of a comprehensive codified personal law in our country has resulted in Muslim woman suffering in matters of divorce, halala, polygamy, guardianship and custody of children, share in property etc. The Shariat Application Act, 1937 is silent on all these matters. It is claimed that Indian Muslims are governed by Shariat. But the Shariat as practised currently in different parts of the country is undefined and unwritten. It is subject to multiple interpretations and misinterpretations — which more often than not, are unfair to women.

Often the injunctions of the Holy Quran are violated in the name of Shariat; widespread incidence of triple talaq is the commonest example. Unfair practices pertaining to age of marriage, mehr, divorce, alimony, child custody, property are all passed off in the name of Shariat. It is anybody’s guess as to how many ordinary Muslims understand the spirit of the Holy Quran or its underlying principles of gender justice!

It is not difficult to guess as to what is the perspective and understanding of some of those men dispensing justice in Shariat courts across the country! Most times, the verdicts in family matters end up being unfairly pro-men and entirely anti-women. This can hardly be said to be based on Quranic injunctions!

A comment on the role of various elected governments and this continued injustice is in order. In our country, Muslim women’s quest for justice is viewed with skepticism or even hostility. By recognising only the conservative religious voice as the sole voice the democratic state has failed in enabling fair representation for all sections of population including women. The conservative sections are unaware and unconcerned about the issues of Muslim women and therefore, they cannot continue speaking for them.

A national study done by us revealed that Muslim women are fed up of this oppression and want immediate redressal. We found that 55 percent of the women surveyed were married before the age of 18 years, 47 percent women don’t possess their own nikahnama and 82 percent women have no property in their name. An overwhelming 95.5 percent women have not heard about the AIMPLB — the all-India Muslim Personal Law Board. More than 40 percent women received less than Rs 1000 for mehr and 44 percent women did not receive the mehr at all. Most respondents were not aware of the empowering provisions about mehr and that it is their right to decide the amount.

An overwhelming 91.7 percent women spoke out against polygamy saying that a Muslim man should not be allowed to have another wife during the subsistence of the first marriage. Of the divorced women, 65.9 percent were divorced orally, 7.6 percent were divorced though a letter, 3.4 percent women were divorced on phone, 3 on email, 1 via SMS. In all, 78 percent women were divorced unilaterally.

The study indicates that an overwhelming 88.3 percent women are opposed to triple talaq and want the legal divorce method to be the talaq-e-ahsan method spread over a period of 90 days and involving negotiation and avoiding arbitrariness. An overwhelming 83.3 percent women felt that their family disputes can be resolved if the law is codified. 89 percent wanted the government to intervene in helping codify the Muslim personal law. Over 86 percent women wanted religious leaders to take responsibility for enabling Muslim women to get justice in family and they wanted these leaders to support in bringing about a gender-just law.

It needs to be mentioned here that patriarchal forces are attempting to project that “court interference” is a violation of the Constitutional right to religious freedom of the Muslim minority. This is a lie; actually the prevalent practice of triple talaq is a violation of Quranic injunctions and therefore violates the right to religious freedom of Muslim women. And this violation is being done by self-appointed custodians of religion.

Shayara Bano and other Muslim women are seeking an end to this violation of their Quranic rights. It is the Muslim conservative forces who are violating the Islamic principles of gender justice and the Muslim women are forced to go to courts. It is only incidental that they are in violation of the Constitutional principles too. Lack of legal recourse and discrimination is a very important aspect that calls for correction while addressing the Quranic rights as well as the citizenship rights of Muslim women.

Zakia Soman and Noorjehan Niaz are co-founders of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan which seeks reform in Muslim personal law

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