The conception of Rama
Aditya, the Hindu Skeptic
a018967t at BC.SEFLIN.ORG
Fri Jul 2 04:59:37 UTC 1999
Bharat Gupt wrote:
> Dear Prof Karp,
> Could we not take as evidence of niyoga a more lucid reference
> in the mantra 10/40/2,
I don't think so. This sukta refers to the status of widows prior to
start of Sati system in what you call as the Vedic parampara. It
indicates that widows were considered properties belonging to her
deceased husband and they had no freedom to choose a person out side his
family. It ignores the cases where the deceased husband did not have an
younger brother neither does it state that the widow had to be
Polyandry is mentioned prominently in Mahabharat and Ramayan e.g.
Draupadi and Mandodri without having to wait for the demise of a woman's
> The "putryeshti yajna" held after ashvamedha held by Dasharatha, in my opinion (and we
> are all entitled to our interpretations provided they are based on evidence of certain
> existing practices) is a euphemism for niyoga. The miraculous description of the
> "paayasam" bearing person emerging from the yajna fire is heighten the eupphemistic
It seems more logical for me to expect the author of Ramayan wanted to
convey some kind of poetic mystery and unearthly nature of Ram's birth
so that he could be considered as a superhero or supernatural
personality like Jesus Christ in the New Testament.
If he just wanted to talk about niyoga then there was no necessity to
conduct a special yagna or some other numbo jumbo since Niyoga was not a
taboo subject at the time as you correctly state.
Have a peaceful and joyous day.
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