The conception of Rama

Bharat Gupt abhinav at DEL3.VSNL.NET.IN
Fri Jul 2 09:41:34 UTC 1999

Srini Pichumani wrote:
> Bharat Gupt wrote:
> > The vedic niyoga was much simpler, rational and mutually respectful than its
> > modern technological version of fertility clinics. It went beyond patriarchal ego
> > and feminine whims. The modern version is a hoax, a religious perversion,    a tremendous
> > waste of medical resources and anti-poor. It is open to commercial abuse and
> > exploitation of the third-world people by first world technology. The modern
> > rationalists, who speially in India, only rejoice in reviling the ancient Indian
> > civilisation, have no guts to advocate a return to niyoga or modernise it even for the
> > sake of women freedom.  Nor do those claiming to advocate a scientific and liberal
> > outlook have the humility t learn from ancient civilisations which found abiding answers
> > to problems that we face even now.
> In your rather luddite rant above,  you _seem_ to be only considering the possibility that
> the male is incapable of producing offspring.   I don't know your awareness of modern
> fertility methods,  but suffice it to say that it has helped a lot of couples I know in the
> US and in India  suffering from "unexplained infertility" i.e. where both the male and
> female check out fine...  and many other women who are temporarily unable to bear children
> because of  endometriosis,  ovulation problems,  etc.  In many cases,  the procedures
> involved were straightforward medical ones deserving none of the hoax or religious
> perversion characterizations stated above.
> I know you are comparing ancient niyoga to modern fertility,  but if you wanted to be
> oh-so-humanistic,  why not just suggest straight adoption ?
> -Srini.
>response from
> > Bharat Gupt
> > Assoc. Prof. Delhi UnivDear Srini,

Continuing with my "luddite ranting", let me point out that nowhere have I suggested
not curing physical or even psychological inabilities in men and women with the help of
modern medicine. I am talking about the whole ethics of sperm banks and the secrecy cult
that modern medicine has made out to be an industry. Contemporary religious beliefs,
Christian, Hindu or Islamic can all benefit by reform and openness for which they have a
precedent in ancient practices. Any social reform needs precedents and customary
evidence, niyoga only provides it authentically, as a widespread ancient practice.
Hindu conservatism has suppressed this fact and held that it was discarded
as it was abused in "kaliyauga".

Adoption is legitimate in itself, and the now much hated Manusmriti provided for many
kinds of adoption, but adoption cannot not be a solution for those who wish to give
birth and raise a child in the family.
The real opposition to niyoga is from the modern  male ego. Ancient niyoga was used
for patriarchal/ family/ vamsha/ perpetuation. Now besides family perpetuation it can
be social sanction for individual choices and motherhood also.
Thank you for the discussion, with regards,
Bharat Gupt
Associate PRof Delhi Univ.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list