The conception of Rama

Bharat Gupt abhinav at DEL3.VSNL.NET.IN
Fri Jul 2 19:04:43 UTC 1999

Aditya, the Hindu Skeptic wrote:
> 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
> childless.
> Polyandry is mentioned prominently in Mahabharat and Ramayan e.g.
> Draupadi and Mandodri without having to wait for the demise of a woman's
> husband.
> > 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.
> Aditya Mishra
> Primary e-mail: a018967t at
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> Random thought of the day:
>         7th Rule of Bureaucracy: For any given large, complex, expensive
> problem, there exists at least one short, simple, cheap, wrong answer.

I see no reason to presume that this is a "status of the widow"  sukta. There is
also no reason to presume that  going to the devar was without a formal ritual
which could have been other than niyoga. That women were considered "property" and
all that is an attitude that only prjects a self-made " superiority " of the modern
notions. Niyoga is not any more superior or freedom-giver than serial monogamy
. That sati came after niyoga / compulsory marraige to devar is also a presumption.
All these practices have coexited, their beginning and end cannot be ascertained
much less any evolutionary development.

I agree that Rama's janma is made miraculous but as a take off from the more mundane
practice of niyoga. IT may have not have been done by adi Valmiki but by later Valmikis.

Have a very good day.
Random Thought : The comforting way of not seeing the writing on the wall is to close
your eyes.
Bharat Gupt

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