The conception of Rama

Srini Pichumani srini_pichumani at MENTORG.COM
Sat Jul 3 00:11:05 UTC 1999

Bharat Gupt wrote:

> 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.

That precisely,  is _a_ major preoccupation of fertility clinics worldwide.

> 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".

How do you argue that it was widespread ?   And why talk of Hindu conservatism,  kaliyuga etc ?
Even in ancient times,  is there mention of niyoga or similar practice in cultures such as that
of the Sangam era Tamils...  in all probability not,  considering the emphasis on kaRpu
(chastity) for married women... which in itself is patriarchical,  but that is beside the point

> 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.

Here,  the traditional "marumakkathayam" practices of the Nair community of Kerala,  which were
indeed very widespread amongst that community and a few others till very recent times,  and
noticed by various visitors to Kerala since medieval times,  offers a enlightened,
non-patriarchical alternative,  provided it is rid of the usual caste-related considerations.


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