Women who could Compose Verses in Eight Languages in 24 Minutes! (Post.7663)

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Post No.7663

Date uploaded in London – 7 March 2020

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Women who could Compose Verses in Eight Languages in 24 Minutes! (Post.7663)

Ramabhadramba

Madhuravaani and Raamabhadraambaa were two great poets who were well versed in Telugu and Sanskrit.

We have already seen Madhuravani’s achievement sometime ago.

Raama bhadraambaa wrote a historical poem in twelve cantos called ‘Raghunaathaabhyudayam’, describing the political and military events that happened during the reign of Raghunatha Nayaka (1600-34). It is in Sanskrit. Apart from its literary merits, the poem is of very great source of Vijayanagara history. It is a contemporary account of the political revolution which hastened the disintegration and the downfall of the Rayas.

As a poetess she is in no way inferior to Madhuravani. Having chosen a historical theme for her poem, she could not give full play to her poetic fancy and imagination. That was not due to her want of ability, but to the limitation of the subject she had chosen. She has a great power of narration, and her descriptions of battle scenes are lovely. Her style is spontaneous and her verse flows smoothly like an unobstructed stream. Owing to her being adept in the rhetoric, her imagery is varied and original.

Two cantos of the poem describe the accomplishments of the ladies of the Thanjavur court, who could compose with facility verses in eight languages. Some of them could even expound the Vaiseshika philosophy and grammar.

Ramabhadramba herself was a shatalekhini, one who could compose one hundred verses in eight languages in a ‘ghatika’, about 24 minutes. Vijaya vilasam is another poem attributed to her.

RANGAJAMMA received Gold Shower

Rangajamma was the daughter of Paupuleti Venkatadri and Mangalamba. She was a consort of Vijayaraghava Nayaka 1633-1673,

She also was a shatalekhini, and her forte was erotic poetry, though she was skilled in Rajaniti, politics.

Her two Telugu poems are

Mannaarudasavilasam and

Ushaa parinayam

She also wrote the Ramayana saram and Bharata saram and a Yakshaghana play.

Usha parinayam is perhaps the greatest of her works and deserves a place among the great ‘prabandhas’ in the Telugu language. In composing her Yakshaghana, she followed the literary techniques of Vijayaraghava. Her style is simple and homely.

Vijayaraghava who was attracted by her charms and talents, spent most of his time in her company, and in appreciation of her versatility bathed her in a shower of gold, Kanakabisheka.

MUDDUPALANI

Muddupalani was a daughter of a courtesan in the harem of Pratapa sSmha, 1739-1763 of Thanjavur. The Bhonsle rulers of Thanjavur continued the literary and cultural traditions of the Nayaks, whom they supplanted. Like most of the courtesans in the court of Thanjavur, she was highly educated and was proficient in Sanskrit and Telugu. Her command over Telugu was commendable. She was an expert in dance and music; and her skill on the Vina won the admiration of her contemporaries. MUDDUPALANI, was above all, a poetess of great literary merit, and her works are still popular.

She is the authoress of two works

Radhika santwana or Ilavidya and the

Ashtapadi

The former, an erotic poem, describing the loves of Radhika and Krishna, is a work of uncommon literary excellence. Her diction and imagery are fine, her descriptions charming; and the style is simple, homely and graceful.

The Ashtapadi is a Telugu rendering of Jayadeva’s work of the same name. Competent music critics are of opinion that the translation is worthy of the original which gives us an insight into the great musical talents of the authoress.

source book – Great Women of India, Advaita Ashrama, Almora, Year 1953

Xxxx subham xxxxx

STORY OF WOMAN PHILOSOPHER CHUDALA (Post 7614)

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Post No.7614

Date uploaded in London – 24 February 2020

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While examples are rare in literature where women damps and crushes such an interest in her beloved, we have an outstanding example of woman striving for such a contingency, triumphing over temptations of the flesh, instructing him in self- knowledge and winning him over to her ways. This is Chuudaalaa of the Yoga Vasishta.

Daughter of Saurashtra Prince, beautiful and pious, she was while in her teens wedded to Shikidwaja, a valiant prince of Ujjaini. It was a happy match, and life passed on smoothly with them, since both were accomplished in arts and sciences and were of kindred tastes. But with the advent of age and with her personal charms diminishing, she realised the necessity of true knowledge and the hollowness of material pleasure. With her mind trained by instructions Chudala asks herself the questions,

Can it be that I shall know my own self, the substratum of reality in me, what I am in thinking and feeling and willing?

Upon her dawns the knowledge that the world of sense is imaginary. With this she feels the touch of unparalleled comeliness overspreading her appearance. The king is surprised and interrogates,

Have you tasted the nectar and turned imaging?

Me seems you have acquired a priceless treasure.

She replies, I have come to know of things in their proper perspective — their emergence from and their merging in finality. I pray for nothing and I am self -contained. That is why I have turned so lovely.

The king laughs at the Idea and takes her to be mad, and entreats her not to sever her connection with the world of senses. But that was not to be, Chudala takes to solitude and yogic regimen, acquires supernatural powers, but does not leave the palace. In course of a time, knowledge dawns upon the king too. He turns religiously minded and leaves the kingdom and goes to the forest abruptly despite Chuldala’s repeated entreaties.

Chudala invisible through yogic efficacy seeks him out after he had been absent for eighteen years. By this time, with his previous desire for enjoyment exhausted, he becomes a true ascetic. Chudala implores the king to be thorough going in his renunciation, to eschew everything including the inborn impressions of his previous birth. This done, the king becomes really enlightened; and this is the marvel that Chudala achieves.

The sublimation of the intellect as in Arundhati, of feeling as in

Radha , and of spirit as in Chudala are three important landmarks in the process

of womanly enlightenment as depicted in classical Sanskrit. Women as martyrs rarely appear in Buddhist doctrinaire accounts, but women as nuns wedded to service of humanity are more frequent. The one noble example of affection through service is Patralekha in the Kaadambari. She is the best e example of championship unfeigned and undaunted by the dawn and of return of love.

Woman may be a poet or a philosopher or a scholar, and even a brahmachariny

like Maitreyi or Chudala. But her claim to recognition lies through her service of her lord and through her being the mother of a great son, wise or valiant like Rama, Shankara, Chaitanya or the heroic Bharata, as the case may be. This is the attitude of even romantic love stories. Vadavadatta is great because of her being the mother of Naravahana datta.

Source – Great Women of India, AdvaIta Ashrama, Mayavati, Almora,1953

Also read
Wife’s three Tests to her Husband! Story from Yoga Vasishta …tamilandvedas.com › 2014/05/31 › wifes-three-tests-to-her-husband-st…

31 May 2014 – His queen was Chudala from Saurashtra country in ancient India (now part of Gujarat state). She was very beautiful and extremely intelligent.

MIRACLES DONE BY HINDU WOMEN (Post No.7590)

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Post No.7590

Date uploaded in London – 18 February 2020

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Hindu epics and Puranas narrate many stories about women who changed the course of Nature to save their near and dear or their honour. Hindus believe chaste women can do miracles through the power of their chastity. Tiruvalluvar, the greatest of the Tamil poets, is the strongest advocate of such miraculous powers.

He says,

“A wife who may not worship god but wakes up with worshipful devotion to her husband has the (miraculous ) power to make rain fall at her bidding” – Kural couplet 55 tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

Another translation of the same couplet

“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”.

That is, a virtuous woman who knows no other god but her husband may command the very clouds to pour forth rain and they will do so.

Probably this is an echo of Manu Smrti, where Manu says,

A virtuous wife should constantly serve her husband as a god, even if he behaves badly.

Apart from their husbands women cannot perform fire sacrifices or undertake a vow or fast; it is because a wife obeys her husband that she is exalted in heaven- Manu 5-154/155 tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

This means they get direct, free flight ticket to Heaven without doing any ritual!  If they serve their husbands , that is more than enough!

Chaste women did such miracles only when they were very desperate. Hindus believed that truth and honesty are more powerful than Gods or Truth and Honesty are Gods.

Women don’t use the power for petty things. Hanuman had a novel plan for rescue Sita. Even when Hanuman asked Sita to sit on his shoulder so that she can easily escape from the prison house of Ravana, the demon,

Sita replied  “What did you say? I can burn the three worlds with my one word through my power of chastity. But that will diminish the name and fame of my beloved husband Rama”

–Kamba Ramayana in Tamil. tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

So each one is expected to do his or her lawful duty. If one failed to so, then women used their power.

Kannaki, the heroine of the greatest Tamil epic Silappadikaram, burnt Madurai City, when her husband was unjustly executed. She just commanded Agni , the God of Fire, to burn all the bad people in the city and Madurai was burnt to ashes.

Here are FIVE GREAT MIRACLE WOMEN who are worshipped by Hindu women even today—

1.Damayanti

2.Nalayini

3.Anusuya

4.Savitri

5.Arundhati

What did they do?

1.Damayanti

Damayanti fell in love with a king named Nala. But the heavenly deities Indra, Agni, Varuna and Yama also wanted to marry her. Hindu women of the warrior caste (Kshatriyas) had the greatest freedom in the ancient world and they had chosen their own husbands. It was called Swayamvara. All the kings would get invitation letters. When Nala also attended it, the four Vedic Gods dressed themselves just like Nala and attended the Swayamvara ceremony. When the beauty Damyanti entered the decorated hall she was perplexed by seeing Five Nalas there. Immediately she used her power and prayed God to identify the Real Nala. tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

Vedic Gods are from alien worlds. They are extra -terrestrials. Hindu scriptures beautifully describe the qualities of ETs,

Their feet wont touch the ground;

They would not perspire;

Their eyes wont wink;

Their garlands wont wither;

They can have beautiful women Apsaras with them, but they cant have sex. If they want sex they have to do Inter Galactic Travel and come to earth for sex. Puranas say Parvati cursed them that they can never have sex in the Swarga/Heaven.

Damyanti knew all these things. So after her prayer she looked at the feet of Five Nala Figures in the hall. Feet of four deities or ETs were above the ground. She identified her dream lover Nala and garlanded him.

Xxx

2.Nalayini

The story of Nalayini is very long with interesting turns and twists. But for our part we will take only one incident. Since Nalayini put one condition for her marriage, she had to marry an old seer whose legs got paralysed. She told the world that she would marry a man of wisdom and thus landed herself in the hands of an old seer Maukhalya. He asked her to carry him in a basket wherever he wanted to go and Nalayini readily obeyed him. While transporting him in the strange vehicle of basket, she accidentally hit another seer Mandavya who was fighting for his life in a spiked pole. He was falsely accused of stealing royal jewels and was impaled. He was seething with anger because he did not steal the jewels and he cursed Nalayini that she would lose her husband before sun rise the next day. tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

Nalayini  also became angry for punishing her husband for her mistake. And she vowed that the sun would not rise if she is chaste and really devoted to her husband. The sun did not rise next day and it was still dark at 10 am. The whole world suffered and begged to Nalayini to bless them all with sun light. People even sought the good offices of Tri Murtis- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

Though out Hindu scriptures we can see Truth wins; even god can’t change the Rtam=Rhythm=Truth. So gods begged to her as well. And she said ‘Let the Sun rise’. And it rose and shone. tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

Such is the power of chastity!

3.Anasuya

Vedic sage Atri had a chaste wife called Anasuya. Her name meant ‘Never Ever Jealous’. Because of this rare virtue in a woman (women always feel jealous of someone; men too, but not to the extent of a WOMAN) and her devotion to her husband, she earned her miraculous powers. When the whole world praised her there were some non- believers . So the all powerful Triumvirate – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva came in the guise of Brahmins and had a good lunch at her house, when her husband was out. As a last request they told her they want to have breast milk, that too straight from her, not in a bottle or a cup.  She did not even wait for a moment. She said ‘Yes my Darlings. So be it – Thadaastu’- she changed them into six month old babies and fed the Three Great Gods. Such is the power of Chastity. tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

4.Savitri

Savitri was the woman who married Sathyavan (meaning is Mr Truth) though astrologers told her family that he would die within a year of the marriage. She had so much confidence in her Chastity power she boldly married him. And came the predicted day. Yama, God of Death, came to take away his life. She argued with him and followed him, nagging him to return the life of Sathyavan. Yama couldn’t tolerate her nagging. He promised her several boons and one of which the traditional greeting that all Hindu women get. When a woman salutes any sage they will say ‘Deerga Sumangali Bhava. This means ‘let you live with your husband for ever’.  Yama also greeted her with these words. She put a tricky question. How can I be a Sumangali (wife with a husband)  when Yama has taken her husband’s life. Yama yielded and gave her husband’s life back. tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

5.Arundhati

Arundhati was a low caste woman by name Akshamala. She became the wife of Vasistha, a great sage of Vedic lore, and became a symbol of chastity. She literally became a star and became part of Ursa Major constellation also known as Sapta Rishi mandala in the northern sky. From Kanyakumari to Kashmir, every married woman must see her before entering the First Night room and take a vow that she would be another Arundhati.

Once all the Seven Great Rishis (Seven Seers in the Great Bear/ Ursa Major Constellation) did a Fire Sacrifice -Yajna in Sanskrit. Agni, the messenger of Gods, who carry all the offerings to heaven wanted to test whether Arundhati is a chaste woman. In fact, Agni wanted to show the world that she is chaster than any woman in the world. So he invited all the women to come to bed with him. Wives of six seers were ready and Swaahaa helped them to take her guise and they entertained Agni. Swaha is the wife of Agni. Swaha could not take the shape of Arundhati however hard she tried. tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

Though it is a symbolic story that shows Arundhati became a star because she was the most chaste woman in the universe. Sangam Tamil literature praises her in several places. So she was recognised from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.

Even today she is one of the important part of rituals in Hindu marriages.

There are many more stories of chaste Hindu women. This must be part of School syllabus. There are many stories where men remained chaste and Rama stands at the top. All Hindu kings could marry many women, but Rama was the only Hindu king who refused to marry another woman. Since Hindu scriptures say that a man cannot perform religious rituals without wife, Rama made a golden statue of Sita and did religious rituals keeping it by his side. This rule applies when one’s wife is alive but not available for rituals. tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

It wouldn’t be out of context to mention here that  two great people insisted  chastity for men also. Subrahmanya Bharatiyar, the greatest of the modern Tamil poets, who lived 100 years ago and Varahamihira who lived 1500 years ago insisted chastity for men like women.

Long Live Chaste Women!

GREATEST MUSLIM QUEEN OF INDIA (Post No.7576)

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Post No.7576

Date uploaded in London – 15 February 2020

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The daughter of an impoverished Persian noble and a foundling, Nur Jahaan, whose life story reads like a real romance, rose to be the greatest Muslim Queen of India. Her father Mirzaa Beg was the scion of a distinguished family of Persia which had fallen upon bad days. Finding his life in Persia, ( Iran ), to be intolerable, he started for India with his wife and children under the protection of a caravan led by a rich merchant named Malik Masud. With his kind help they travelled to Agra, the capital of emperor Akbar. Their benefactor who had influential friends at the court, got Mirza Beg and his two sons presented to Akbar who appointed them to certain petty offices. This was the beginning of Nurjahan’s phenomenal rise to greatness, for she soon became a favourite with the ladies of the royal household and frequented the palace in the company of her mother tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

.

Her first romantic meeting with Jahaangir, then Prince Salim, happened in a garden of the royal palace, when her girlish innocence and ready wit captured the young prince’s heart and he wanted to marry her. Jahangir was deeply touched by her beauty, grace and wisdom. She was however married at the age of seventeen to Ali Quli Khan, whom Akbar appointed as the Governor of Burdwan. But when in 1605 Prince ascended to the throne fate contrived to bring them together. Ali Quili Khan was suspected of complicity in treason and Jahangir’s brother was asked to punish him. His men fell upon him and cut him into pieces. His palace was surrounded and Nur Jahan was captured and taken to the royal court.

Four years later she was married to the emperor at the age of thirty four.

She received successively the titles Nur Mahal, the light of the palace, Nur Jahan, the light of the world. She now found a vast field for the exercise of her varied talents, gaining fame for charitable deeds, clever innovations in food, jewellery and dress, skill in riding and the use of weapons. For eleven years she carried on the administration of the greatest empire in the world of the time by her wise statesmanship and her great influence on the emperor. She, as a matter of fact, dominated her royal husband as no woman in Indian history, has ever done  so that Jahangir had left most of the state of affairs to her care contenting himself with a life of ease and comfort. Firmans were issued under her seal, and her name was struck on coins, one of which bore the legend tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

,

By the command of Emperor Jahangir,

Gold has acquired a hundred fold beauty

With the name on it of Nur Jahan,

The emperor’s royal consort.

Her father was promoted to the rank of prime minister with the title of Iti madd -ud-daulaa, while his sons received responsible posts.

INVENTOR OF ROSE ATTAR

History and legend have surrounded Nurjahan’s personality with many stories. She is reputed to have the inventor of the Attar of Roses, though the credit really belongs to her mother. On one occasion she is said to have shot four tigers with gun and arrows; the emperor was so pleased with her skill and he presented her with a diamond ring worth one lakh rupees, and distributed one thousand gold mohurs among the poor and needy. The story of how a stray arrow  from her bow killed a washer man on the river bank near the palace, and how on a complaint from the dead man’s wife, Jahangir ordered Nur Jahan to be brought to his court of justice like any ordinary criminal is a well-known story.

But the last few years of her married life was not happy. Prince Khurram, later known as Shah Jahaan, Jahangir’s eldest son was a dominating  personality and he was the obvious successor to the throne. His cause was championed by Asaf Khan, whose daughter the famous Mumtaaz Mahal was married to him. Nur Jahan on the other hand, did not like the idea. She wanted Shahryar, the youngest son of Jahangir, to succeed his father, and for this purpose she married her daughter by her former husband to this docile prince whom she could use as her tool. tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

This led to a revolt by Khurram (Shah Jahan). Mahabhat Khan, who first helped Nur Jahan to subdue the revolt, later captured both Nur Jahan and Jahangir in a surprise attack. Nur Jahan escaped and rallied the emperor’s loyal troops and attacked Mahabhat Khan. Nur Jahan rode on an elephant and boldly drove into the swollen river, while her followers couldn’t do that. She was captured again, but her womanly tact succeeded where the military strategy had failed and both herself and emperor Jahangir got released. Jahangir , however, did not survive this episode long. Because he was drinking too much he died on his way from Kashmir to Lahore in 1627. He was laid to rest in a garden at Lahore planted by Nur Jahan.

Nur Jahan’s life, after the demise of her loving husband, was spent in quiet solitude, lighted up only by the memories of past glory. Shah Jahan, the new emperor, treated her kindly enough, but she had now lost all interest in life. She lived to the advanced age of seventy two, dying in 1646, nineteen years after her husband.

A sadly neglected, unpretentious dome now covers her mortal remains, standing not far from Jahangir s splendid mausoleum and bearing the pathetic inscription tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

,

On our lone grave no roses bloom

No nightingale would sing!

No friendly lamp dispels the gloom

No moth ever burns its wing.

But she lives in the memory of millions of people, not only as a great queen, but more as a woman of extraordinary charm, who could sway the hearts of the highest and the mightiest of her contemporaries.

Summarised from Great Women of India, Advaita Ashrama, 1953.

Xxx Subham xxx

TWO TYPES OF VEDIC WOMEN (Post No.7570)

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Post No.7570

Date uploaded in London – 13 February 2020

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Many women were regarded as Rishis or seers, i.e. composers of hymns and some of the hymns in the Rig Samhita were attributed to women. Twenty such hymn composing ladies are named in Sarvanukramanika ( List of poetesses and poets).

Lopaamudraa , Apaalaa, Vishwawaraa, Sikataa, Nivaavari, and Ghoshaa are some of the famous women whose names have been preserved in Vedic literature.

The grounds for such high literary attainments were prepared by education in childhood. The girls, like boys, underwent Upanayana ceremony ( sacred initiation) at an early age. That this was the usual practice, and continued even in later ages , is proved by many interesting evidences. We are told in the Atharva Samhita, 11-5-18, that ‘by Vedic studentship a girl wins a young husband’. This shows that high education was regarded as a necessary accomplishment for being well placed in life. Even in later Vedic age we hear of two classes of educated women,

1.Sadyowaahaas, who prosecuted their studies till their marriage,

2.Brahmavaadinis, who did not marry and pursued their studies throughout life.

It is interesting to note in this connection that the list of great Vedic teachers to whom tribute of respect had to be paid at the time of Brahmayajna, includes the names of some ladies, viz. Gaargi Vaachaknavi, Vadavaa Praatitheyi, Sulabhaa Maitreyi ( see Ashwalaayana Grihya Sutra 3-4-4). These evidences to which others may be added, show that the highest education, including Vedic studies was open equally to men and women, and many ladies distinguished themselves not only as Vedic scholars but also as great philosophers, debaters and teachers.

It may be stated without any hesitation that the general position and status of Indian women in the Vedic age was much higher than in any other ancient society that we know of, those of Greece and Rome not excluded. It is hardly necessary to point out that the picture is an ideal one, and cannot be regarded as universally true of all women.

But sons were preferred to daughters because of the funeral ceremony which could be done only by men.

Source book –  Great Women of India, Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati, Almora, Himalayas, year 1953 (with my inputs from Tamil literature )

Xxx Subham xxx

பெண்கள் மனிதப் பிறவிகளா? கிறிஸ்தவர் காரசார விவாதம் (Post No.7561)

WRITTEN BY London Swaminathan

Post No.7561

Date uploaded in London – 11 February 2020

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உலகப் புகழ் பெற்ற தத்துவ வித்தகரும் இந்தியாவின் ராஷ்டபதியுமான சர்வபள்ளி டாக்டர் ராதாகிருஷ்ணன்

‘இந்தியாவின் புகழ் பெற்ற பெண்மணிகள்’ (GREAT WOMEN OF INDIA) என்ற 1953-ம் ஆண்டுப் புஸ்தத்துக்கு றிமுகக் கட்டுரை எழுதியுள்ளார். அதைத் தொடர்ந்து டாக்கா பல்கலைக் கழக துணைவேந்தர் ஆர்.சி . மஜூம்தார் (RAMESH CHANDRA MAJUMDHAR, VICE CHANCELLOR OF DACCA UNIVERSITY)  ஒரு கட்டுரை எழுதி இருக்கிறார் . கட்டுரையில் பல அரிய சுவையான விஷயங்களைக் காணலாம். இதோ சில சுவையான செய்திகள் —

டாக்டர் ராதா கிருஷ்ணன் அப்போது உபராஷ்டிரபதி . அவர் எழுதியதாவது-

இந்தியப் பண்பாட்டில் பொதுவாக பெண்களுக்கு மரியாதை கொடுக்கப்பட்டு வந்துள்ளது. அதை இந்த தொகுப்பில் உள்ள கட்டுரைகளும் எடுத்துரைக்கின்றன. ஆனால் அவ்வப்போது பெண்களுக்கு எதிரான குறிப்புகளையும் காணமுடிகிறது  கடவுளையே நாம் அரை ஆண்மகனாகவும் , அரை பெண்மணியாகவும் பார்க்கிறோம் அர்த்தநாரீஸ்வர வடிவத்தில். மநு சொல்கிறார் (3-56)- “எங்கே பெண்கள் கௌரவிக்கப்படுகிறார்களோ அங்கே கடவுள் மகிழ்சசி அடைகிறான் ; எங்கே அவர்களை மதிக்கவில்லையோ அவ்விடத்தில் நடைபெறும் அத்தனையும் பயனற்றுப் போகும்” .

ஆண்கள் செய்யும் அத்தனை வேலைகளையும் பெண்கள் , செய்ய இயலாது. ஏனெனில் அவர்களின் உடல்வாகு அதற்கு இடம் தராது . இதன் காரணமாக அவர்களை மட்டம் தட்ட முடியாது . அவரவர்களுக்கு உரிய செயல்களைச் செவ்வனே செய்வதே சிறப்பாகும்.

பழங்காலத்தில் பெண்களும் கல்வி கற்றனர்; பூணுல் அணிந்து கிரியைகளைச் செய்தனர். பிரம்ம வித்யைக்கு அவர்க்களும் உரிமை கொண்டாடினர். ‘மஹாநிர்வாண தந்திரம்’ கூறுகிறது – “பெண்களையும் வளர்த்து ஆளாக்கி கவனத்துடனும் பெரு முயற்சியுடனும் கல்விப் பயிற்சி தர வேண்டும்”- 8-47

தேவி மஹாத்ம்யம் என்னும் நூல் இயம்புகிறது – “அறிவின் எல்லா துறைகளும் நீயே! உலகம் முழுதுமுள்ள பெண்கள் யாவரும், தேவி! உன் வடிவங்களே” – 11-6.

கல்விக்கான கடவுளே ஸரஸ்வதி ஆவார் .

நாமும் மைத்ரேயி, கார்கி , அருந்ததி, லீலாவதி  முதலிய புகழ் பெற்ற பெண்மணிகளின் பெயர்களைக் கேள்விப்பட்டுள்ளோம்.

வேத காலத்தில் பெண்களுக்கு சம வாய்ப்புகள் கிட்டின. இதற்குப்பின்னர் அவர்களுக்கு அத்தகைய வாய்ப்புகள் கொடுக்கப்படவில்லை. இதனால் அவர்கள் அறியாமையிலும் மூட  நம்பிக்கைகளிலும் உழன்றனர்.

ராமகிருஷ்ண பரமஹம்சரும் கூட பைரவி பிராஹ்மணி என்ற பெண்மணியைத் தன் குருவாக ஏற்றார் . அவருடைய மனைவியான சாரதாதேவிக்கு அவர் கொடுத்த மரியாதையும் குறிப்பிடற்பாலது .

வேத காலத்தில் பெண்கள் தங்கள் கணவர்களைத் தேர்ந்தெடுத்ததை அறிகிறோம். இதற்காக ‘சமான’ என்ற விழாக்கள் நடந்தன. கல்யாணம் என்பது மதிப்பிற்குரிய ஒரு விஷயமாக போற்றப்பட்டது .

துர்கா சப்த சதியில் ஒரு சுவையா விஷயத்தைக் காண்கிறோம். அங்கே துர்க்கை கல்யாணம் ஆகாத குமாரி. அவளைத் திருமணம் செய்துகொள்ள அசுரர்கள் ஆசைப்படுகின்றனர். அப்போது துர்கா தேவி சொல்கிறாள் —

“போரில் என்னை எவர் ஒருவர் வெல்கிறாரோ, எவர் ஒருவர் என்னையும் விஞ்சும்  கர்வத்தைக் காட்டுகிறாரோ, எவர் ஒருவர் எனக்குச் சமமானவரோ அவரை நான் மணந்து கொள்வேன்” .

இதிலிருந்து பெண்கள் வெறும் இன்பத்தைத் தரும் அடிமைகள் அல்ல என்பது விளங்கும்.

மஹாபாரதத்தில் ஆதி பர்வத்தில் ஒரு ஸ்லோகம் உரைக்கிறது -1-3-9

“உன்னுடைய இருதயம்/ உள்ளம் என்னுடையதாகட்டும் ;

என்னுடைய இருதயம்/ உள்ளம் உன்னுடையதாகட்டும்”;

ஆகையால் காம சுக போகத்தை அவர்கள் வெறுக்கவில்லை

கல்வி கற்க வரும் சிறுவனுக்கு ‘தாயைச் சிறந்ததொரு கோயில் இல்லை’ என்பது தொனிக்கும் வகையில் முதலிலேயே மாத்ரு தேவோ பவ’  (தாயே கடவுள் என்று கருது) – என்று கற்றும் தருகிறோம். மனு இதை மிகவும் வலியுறுத்தி மொழிகிறார் –

“பத்து உபாத்யாயர்களை விட   ஒரு ஆச்சார்யர் பெரியவர் ;

ஒரு தந்தையானவர் 100 ஆச்சார்யர்களை  விடச் சிறந்தவர் ஆவார்;

ஒரு தாய் என்பவளோ 1000 தந்தையரையும் விடச்  சிறந்தவர் ஆவார்” – 2-145

xxx

இவ்வாறு டாக்டர் ராதா கிருஷ்ணன் எழுதியத்தைத் தொடர்ந்து டாக்டர் ரமேஷ் சந்திர மஜூம்தார் எழுதுகிறார் –

“நம்முடைய அதிர்ஷ்டம் ரிக் வேதத்தின் பத்தாவது மண்டல 85 ஆவது துதி (Rik Veda 10-85) கல்யாண மந்திரத்தை அப்படியே இன்று வரை காப்பாற்றி வந்துள்ளது. உலகில் வேறு எங்கும் இல்லாத இந்த ஒப்பற்ற கவிதை, இந்துக்கள் திருமணத்துக்கு எவ்வளவு மதிப்பும் மரியாதையும் கொடுத்தனர் என்பதைக் காட்டுகிறது ; ஒரு நாகரிகம் வாய்ந்த சமுதாயத்தில் நடக்கும் திருமணத்தின் மிகப்பழைய (oldest document on marriage) குறிப்பு இதுதான்”.

“இதற்குப்பின்னர் அவர் பெண்களுக்கு எதிரும் புதிருமாக உள்ள கருத்துக்களை இந்து மத நூல்களில் இருந்த எழுதிவிட்டு நாம் பெரும்பாலும் கேள்விப்படாத முக்கிய விஷயத்தை எழுதுகிறார்).

“பெண்கள் இயல்பாகவே தீய குணங்களுடன் படைக்கப்பட்டவர்கள் என்று குறை கூறுகிறீர்களே. ஆண்களிடம் அத்தகைய தீய குணங்கள் இல்லையா? என்று வராஹ மிஹிரர் கேட்கிறார்.

உலகம் முழுதும் பெண்களுக்கு எதிரான போக்கு காணப்பட்டது . கி.பி. 585ல் பிரான்சில் மேசன் நகரில் நடந்த கிறிஸ்தவ குருமார்கள் மகாநாட்டில்(Synod of Macon) பெண்கள் மனிதப் பிறவிகளா என்று காரசாரமாக விவாதித்தனர்.

கௌதம புத்தர் 2600 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு  முன்னரே பெண்களை கடுமையாக நடத்தினார் . பவுத்த சங்கத்தில் அவர்களை அனுமதிக்க முடியாது என்று அடம்பிடித்தார்.

சிஷ்யர்கள் மிகவும் வற்புறுத்தவே பெண்களை புத்த சங்கத்தில் அனுமதித்துவிட்டு , நான் எவ்வளவு காலம் என் கொள்கைகள் இந்த பூமியில் நிலவும் என்று நினைத்தேனோ அதில் பாதிக் காலம்தான் என் மதம் இந்தப் பூமியில் நிலவும் என்று ஆருடம் கூறினார். நூறு வயது பிக்குணி கூட நேற்று வந்த 16 வயது பிட் சுவுக்கு  மரியாதை செய்ய வேண்டும். என்றார். மேற்கு நாடுகளில் இதையும் விட நிலைமை  மோசம். கிரேக்க, ஸீ ன தத்துவ  ஞானிகளான கன்பூசியஸ், அரிஸ்டாட்டில், பிரெஞ்சு அறிஞர் ரூஸோ ,  ஆங்கிலக் கவிஞன் மில்டன் ஆகியோரும் பெண்களுக்கு எதிராகப் பொழி ந்து தள்ளினர் ஆண்களை விட பெண்கள் மட்டம் என்றும் அவர்கள் கீழ்ப்படிந்து நடக்க வேண்டும் என்றும் எழுதினார்கள்.”

xxx

என் கருத்து

பாரதி போன்று பழங்கால உலகில் பெண்களுக்கு ஆதரவு கொடுத்த அறிஞர் வராஹமிஹிரர் ஒருவரே. 1500 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன்னரே பெண்களுக்கு சம உரிமை உண்டு என்று வாதாடினார். இந்தியர்களைவிட மிகவும் மோசமானவர்கள் மேலை நாட் டார்தான். இந்திய பெண்களுக்கு ஓட்டுரிமை கிடைத்த பின்னரே பிரிட்டிஷ் பெண்களுக்கு ஓட்டு உரிமை கிடைத்தது.

சங்கத் தமிழிலக்கியம் , திருக்குறளில் கூட ‘கணவனே கண்கண்ட தெய்வம்’, ‘கல்லானாலும் கணவன், புல்லானாலும் புருஷன்’ என்று படிக்கிறோம். கம்பனும், பட்டினத்தாரும் பிறரும் பெண்களை  சாடுகின்றனர் . ஆனால் இதை சரியான பார்வையில் பார்க்க வேண்டும். இந்துக்கள் பெண்களை மூன்று கோணங்களில் அணுகினர்.

1.தாய் என்ற பார்வையில், அவர்கள் தெய்வமாகப் போற்றப்பட்டனர் . எல்லா பெண்களும் யாரோ ஒருவருக்குத் தாய் என்பதும் அவர்களுக்குத் தெரியும் .

2. இரண்டாவது கோணம்- அவர்கள் யாரோ ஒருவருக்கு மனைவி. அப்போது அவர்கள் ‘சுகம் தரும், வீட்டு வேலை செய்யும் ஒரு ‘கருவி’, ‘வஸ்து’ என்று கருதப்பட்டனர்.

3. மூன்றாவது கோணம் – விலைமகளிர் போல குணம் உடைய பெண்கள். அவர்களை பற்றி எச்சரிக்கவே பக்தி இலக்கிய பாடகர்கள் அவர்களை சாடினர் .

ஆக நிஜ வாழ்வைப் பார்க்கையில் பெண்களைப் போற்றியதையும் தூற்றியதையும் காண முடிகிறது .விக்டோரியன் கால (Victorian period Novels)  ஆங்கில நாவல்களில் ,பெண்களை புத்தியில்லாத , பொறாமை கொண்ட, அலர் தூற்றும் வம்புக்காரிகளாக (Dumb, Ignorant, Gossip mongers)  சித்தரிப்பதைக் காணலாம்.

வேத காலத்தில் இருந்த பெண்களின் உன்னத நிலை, காலப்போக்கில் சரி ந்து வந்ததை இந்து சமய நூற்கள் தெளிவாகப் படம்பிடித்துக் காட்டுகின்றன. அக்காலத்தில் பாரதி போன்றோர் வராஹமிஹிரர் போன்றோர் மிகவும் குறைவு. அது மட்டுமல்லாது வெளிநாட்டோர் படை எடுப்புகளும் பெண்களின் நிலையைப் படு குழியில் தள்ளி ன பாரசீகர், கிரேக்கர், சகரர் , ஹுணர் , முஸ்லீம்கள் , கிறிஸ்தவர்கள் படை எடுப்பு காரணாமாக  பெண்கள் நிலைமை படிப்படியாக மோசமாகி வந்ததை வரலாறு காட்டுகிறது.

உலகிலுள்ள பழங்கால பெண் கவிஞர்கள் , அறிஞர்களைப்  பட்டியலிட்டால்  நாம் மிக உன்னத நிலையில் இருப்பதைப் பார்க்க முடியும்.

வாழ்க பாரதி, வாழ்க பெண்ணினம்

–subham—

Vedic Hindu women, Greek women and Parsi women (Post No.7559)

Compiled by London Swaminathan

Post No.7559

Date uploaded in London – 10 February 2020

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

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

Ramesh Chandra Majumdhar, Former Vice Chancellor of Dacca University compares the status of women in different countries in his article in the ‘Great Women of India’ volume , published in 1953 by the Advaita Ashrama . It is very interesting that Vedic Hindu women enjoyed more freedom whereas other women were under strict control. But we must remember Rig Vedic society existed before 1500 BCE, where as  Homer’s Greek , Avesta of Parsis belong to 8th century  BCE. But he shows how the status of women in Vedic society also deteriorated after the Upanishadic age.

Here is what he says,

“The high ideal of a married life— involving life long faith, devotion and love between the husband and wife — is nobly expressed in the marriage hymn 10-85 of the Rig Veda.  Casual references thorough out the Samhita, indicate that the society was really inspired by such an ideal, and we already see before us a picture of insoluble partnership, in life and death, which has ever characterised the relation between husband and wife in Hindu society, and has almost become proverbial.

Nevertheless, without distracting from this high ideal in the least, it must be confessed that, the weakness of human nature must have occasionally led to moral lapses even in those days, as also in later days. Indeed, there are ample references to such a state of things not only in the Rig Veda Samhita but also in later Vedic literature. It would be a miracle if it were not so. There are certain hymns which seem to look upon the existence of a paramour as nothing abnormal than a common occurrence or an ordinary event. But the hymns of the Rig Veda make it clear that moral lapses on the part of women were not treated so severely as in later days and more or less the same standard was applied in this respect to both men and women.

As all this might be quite shocking to our moral sensibilities and ideas of female virtues, it is necessary to point out the prevalence of a similar state of things in the Hellenistic world of Homeric days. The compulsory infidelity of a wife as a prisoner of war was openly recognised, and in no way reprehended. The noblest and fairest women, whether married or not, of a captured town normally became the concubines of the victors, but such a fate was in no sense a dishonour to the Greek lady of which she need afterwards be ashamed. This callous attitude might have been reflected its influence upon cases of voluntary sin, and so they came to be regarded with much indulgence. So also the open concubines allowed to married men often allowed a plea for retaliation and a justification in the case of crime.

The same reasons might also have operated in ancient India. In any case, ideas in ancient India, as in ancient Greece, were very different from those of modern times, when we rate personal purity of a woman so highly that the loss of it by misfortune is hardly less excused by society than its abandonment through passion.

A widow marrying husband‘s brother is also in the Vedas. The remarriage of a widow to husband’s brother was a very common practice among the Jews and other ancient nations .

The Vedic word ‘Dampati’ used to denote jointly the husband and wife, etymologically means the joint owners of the house. The same idea is also contained in the Avesta (Of Parsis), but whereas the Avesta enjoins upon the wife strict obedience to her husband, the marriage ritual in the Rig Veda , and also in its fully developed form in the Grihya sutras, does not enjoin obedience upon the wife. This position of dignity was upheld by her participation in religious practices and sacrifices, which was regarded as the highest right and privilege in the society of those days.

The Samhita of the Rig Veda has fortunately preserved one particular hymn 10-85 which proves that not only the institution of  marriage but also the ideals which characterised it in India in later days were deeply rooted in the minds of men. Its interest, however, transcends the narrow bounds of India, as it is perhaps the oldest written document in the world which gives an ideal picture of the marriage system with all that it involves in a civilized society.

ARE WOMEN HUMAN BEINGS? CHRISTIAN DISCUSSION!!! (Post No.7555)

COMPILED BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Post No.7555

Date uploaded in London – 9 February 2020

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

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

Great philosopher and former President of India Dr S Radhakrishnan gives very interesting information about the attitude towards women in ancient India. Then in the same volume R C Majumdhar, former Vice Chancellor of Dacca University adds that anti women attitude was common among the Hindu Smrti writers, Greek philosophers, Gautama Buddha and the Christian poets and monks . Christians maintained anti women attitude until very recent times.

“Indian tradition has generally respected womanhood, as the essays in this book indicate, though occasionally we find derogatory references to women ( in his introduction to Great Women of India book). Even god is regarded as half man and half woman, ‘ardha-naariiswara’. Manu declares that where women are honoured, there gods are pleased; where they are not honoured, all works become fruitless (Manu 3-56).

Women cannot do some things that men can. Their physiology prevents this. That does not prove any inferiority on their part. We must do the things for which we are made and do them well.

In early times education of women was engaged. The Goddess of Learning is Saraswati.

The Mahanirvana Tantra says

‘A girl also should be brought up and educated with great care and effort’ -8-47

The Devi Mahatmya declares,

‘All forms of knowledge are aspects of Thee; and all women throughout the world are Thy forms- 11-6. We hear of great women like Maitreyi, Gargi, Arundhati, Lilavati etc.

In the Vedic age women enjoyed equal opportunities for education and work. They were eligible for ‘upanayana’ (Sacred thread)  or initiation and Study of Brahma Knowledge.

There is an interesting passage in the Durga Saptasati, where Durga who is Kumari/ virgin tells the Asuras who  aspired to marry her- ‘He who conquers me in battle , he who humbles my pride ,he who is my equal in this world, he shall be my husband’. Women were not the bond slaves of pleasure. The end of marriage is spiritual comradeship. The Mahabharata says ‘ let this heart of yours be mine , and let this heart of mine be yours’- 1-3-9. Yet sex life was not despised. Its importance for human development was recognised.

Matri Devp Bhava – Treat your Mother as a Goddess – is the advice given to the young. Again Manu says,

‘One acharya excels ten Upadhyayas in glory; a father excels a hundred Acharyas in glory; but a mother excels even a thousand fathers in glory’- 2-145

Marriage without motherhood is incomplete.

Xxx

R c majumdhar says after quoting anti women references from the Smrtis (HINDU LAW BOOKS), and the following about other religions-

Varahamihira’s Brihat Samhita of sixth century CE gives all out support for women-

“Tell me truly, what faults attributed to women have not   been also practised by men? Men in their audacity treat women with contempt, but they really possess more virtues than men….. men owe their birth to women: O ungrateful wretches, how can happiness be your lot when you condemn them?”

The ascetic and puritanical ideas which came into prominence about the sixth century BCE laid stress on the temptations offered by women and regarded them as the chief obstacles to salvation. Women came to be looked upon as the source of all evils and as potent instruments of destroying the souls of men. Hence the denunciation of women as a class reached a degree which is not unknown in other countries. It is well known how Christian monks gathered at the Synod of Macon in 585 CE seriously discussed whether women were human beings at all.

Even Gautama Buddha was not wholly above this spirit. For a long time, he refused to admit women to his religious order, and when he did so, he prophesied that that the purity of his religion would not endure for more than half the period that it would have otherwise done. He also imposed a far more rigorous test and placed the nuns as a class in a position of inferiority to the monks. It was laid down, for example, that a nun though hundred years old, must stand in reverence even before a young monk just initiated into the church.  Such a sentiment was shared by other religious sects, and naturally reacted on the people at large, thereby creating an unfavourable view against women.  These and other reasons must have produced the feeling that women were wicked  and sensuous by nature and must be constantly  held in check by women.

It should be remembered, however, that such a feeling was almost universally held  throughout the world down to down to very recent times. Confucius, Aristotle, Milton, and even Rousseau preached that women, being inherently inferior to men, should always be in a subordinate position to men”.

Source book – Great Women of India, Advaita Ashrama, 1953.

My Comments

Tamil devotional literature and Kamba Ramayana also have lot of anti women remarks. They looked at women from three angles:

As mothers they were worshipped as Goddess.

As wives they were appreciated for the work they did;

As courtesans they were criticised. The writers who criticised women knew that every woman was a mother to someone. So only when the women acted against the norms of the day they were condemned.

The strange thing is that the Hindus were the only one race who gave them full rights in the Vedic days.

But Britain and other countries paid less wages to women than men who did the same job. While I am typing this, several women sued the BBC against lesser pay they are getting right now and winning their cases slowly.

Britain gave voting rights to British women only after India gave voting rights.

In almost all Western countries women are paid less than men while I am finishing typing this article.

Victorian novels have lot of anti -women remarks. Women were treated as dumb, arrogant, gossip mongers. They were projected as jealous anti women (one woman wont help another woman of same age or status).

Long Live Women!

Long live Bharati, Tamil poet, who fought for women’s’ rights as early as in 1900s.

–subham–

‘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–

Vasantasena , Noble Courtesan’s love affair with ‘Brahmana Merchant’! (Post No.7540)

Written  by London Swaminathan               

Post No.7540

Date uploaded in London – – 5 February 2020

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

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

That magnanimity is no close preserve of birth and lineage, and that a debasing environment is no impediment to what is intrinsically noble, is patent in the character of Vasantasena , presented by Bhaasa  in

‘Daridra –Charudatta’ and by Shudraka  in

‘Mrichhakatika’ . It has got to be recognised  also that the lure of conventional romance and the profusion of seductive love accessories on the lines of the Kamasutra , as presented in the Mrichhakatika, serve not to demoralize the real woman in her, and in spite of her  ignoble birth she gets united at last to her lover

Charudatta, who is by birth a Brahmana , but by profession a merchant now reduced to poverty.

The high position of the courtesan is recognised not merely in the Kamasutra but also in the Artha-shastra ; and in classical Sanskrit convention  these are not mean forces to reckon with.

In spite of the mean and vulgar machinations of  brutal

Shakara , Vasantasena has the satisfaction to see  that her love for the brahmana  merchant, which is based on intrinsic merit , is appreciated and validated.   The depositing of her ornament casket with her lover almost at the first introduction, her sincere and heart felt inclination to religious performances , her liberality, which is evinced by her granting ransom to her chief attendant maid, her pleasure in giving full play to  the motherly instinct , her reverential reference to Charudatta’s wife  and the cheerful way of meeting her privations to the point of  being almost beaten to death are but clear evidences of  her totally uncourtesan like leanings.

To her maid’s query whether she was after a prince or a potentate, she gives an emphatic reply:

“My girl, it is a question of loving , not applying the trade of a courtesan”. Charudatta’s boy, who plays with a Little Earthern Toy Cart (this is the title of the play)  and seems to be depressed because his playmates of the  merchant  square play with the golden carts , she consoles him by saying : “Don’t worry, my child, you shall have a golden cart to play with”.

When the boy’s attendant maid introduces Vasantasena as his mother, he is not reconciled, but utters  knowingly,

“You are not telling me the truth. If she were my mother, she would not have such beautiful jewels”.

To this  Vasantasena says ,

“Child, your naïve lips utter cruel words …. There now I am your mother . Take these ornaments and make a golden cart for you.”  She has seen many sordid things in life, but her mind is not debased. In spite of her vile associations, her mind was not defiled; but rather, as the hero puts it, ‘she is worthy of the homage that one accords to a goddess’. In her, discrimination and passion are well balanced, discrimination leading to modesty and passion to steadfastness in affection.

My comments

We have beautiful dramas written in Sanskrit by Bhasa, Kalidasa, Visakadatta and Shudraka which were staged at least 1600 years before Shakespeare. Each one has many beautiful characters who will beat Shakespeare’s characters.

The society described in those drams is entirely different from what we read in Manu Smriti and other Smritis (Hindu Law books. Even Mahabharata has characters like Dharma vyadha and Ramayana, a Valmiki. If these dramas are from 3rd century BCE (Bhasa’s 13 plays), then we can’t place Manu nearer to that period. Either the anti- Shudra remarks are interpolations or later additions .

Another thing is a Brahmin merchant it is like hot ice cream. And that Brahmin merchant was loved by a courtesan of ignoble birth. This is a picture from Shudraka of second century CE (Mrchhakatika- Little clay Cart).

Though I have not read the drama in its Sanskrit original, I have read its Tamil translation by Pandithamani Kathiresan Chettiyar. It was prescribed for Tamil language paper in Undergraduate Studies in Madurai University. It is a drama touching various facets of society. I place Kalidasa’s three dramas on the basis of his 200 out of 1500 similes found in Sangam Tamil literature (See my 20 plus research articles in this blog). Even if scholars don’t agree with me, Bhasa’s 13 plays are definitely before Kalidasa.

If we put all these plays together and study the society, it will show a liberal society with catholic outlook. If we add the society as wee see in Sangam Tamil literature and Buddhist Jataka Tales we will have more support for the liberal views. Kabila, the Brahmin poet who contributed over 200 poems to the 2500 poem Sangam corpus, goes to a chieftain and introduces himself “I, the brahmin, have brought these daughters; marry them”. But those two are not his own daughters, but the daughters of his beloved friend and the great philanthropist Pari, who was a kshatriya ruler. So we see a society with catholic outlook from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.

 The above write up about Vasantasena is taken from ‘Great women of India’ published in 1953 by the Advaita Ashrama; those who have read the dramas on Vasanta sena only can appreciate this critical review. It must be made compulsory to study the ancient dramas at school level and college level. If we do it before we study Shakespeare it will make us proud. An ocean of drama literature is in Sanskrit up to 18th century. Almost a continuous production of dramas for 2000 plus years. Unfortunately, we lost all ancient Tamil dramas.

tags – Vasantasena, Charudatta, Love, Courtesan ,

xxx

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