Leverite; Vyasa; The Mahabharata

Noel Salmond nsalmond at CCS.CARLETON.CA
Mon May 1 18:44:21 UTC 2000

The spelling of the term should be Levirate, from the Latin, Levir,
"Brother -in-law." In the Bible, the duty of a brother to marry and
impregnate his deceased brother's widow (if she has had no son) is given in
Deuteronomy 25:5-10. The vicissitudes of this injunction exhibit a very
surprising outcome in Genesis 38, the story of Judah and Tamar.

Noel Salmond
College of the Humanities
Carleton University
Ottawa, Canada

At 10:43 PM 5/1/00 +0530, you wrote:
>what on earth is 'leverite'?!!

>>From: Steve Brown <sb009h at MAIL.ROCHESTER.EDU>
>>Reply-To: Indology <INDOLOGY at LISTSERV.LIV.AC.UK>
>>Subject: Leverite; Vyasa; The Mahabharata
>>Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2000 17:26:03 -0400
>>As an aspiring undergraduate indologist; i read your discussions daily with
>>interest (albeit often a bit confusedly when you speak about languages).
>>Now, i must ask for your learned advice and assistance.  I have been
>>Studying Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasa's character in the Mahabharata for some
>>time now, and as the time of my paper draws imminently near, i have taken a
>>bit of a new direction.  I am now curious about Vyasa's enaction of
>>leverite to maintain the Kuru line.  so i am undertaking a short-term (to
>>be continued over the summer after completion of the paper as well) quick
>>and dirty examination of the law of leverite. currently my only source is
>>Doniger's translation of The Laws of Manu, which i have failed to find
>>anything discussing leverite in.  so, what can you all tell me about
>>leverite, any english sources i can look to, i have access to the History
>>of the Dharmasastra, however, i do not really have time to scour that
>>several thousand page text this week, does anyone have an idea where this
>>law may be discussed in either of these volumes?  Beyond that, what can
>>anyone tell me about how this law works, who it is intended to be enacted
>>by, the dharmic consequences of enacting it?
>>thanks much
>>Stephen J Brown
>>University of Rochester
>>" The Spirit of God, I realized, is exaustless Bliss; His body is countless
>>tissues of light..."
>>-Paramahansa Yogananda
>>Lord Buddha was once asked why a man should love all persons equally.
>>"Because," the great teacher replied, "in the very numerous and varied
>>lifespans of
>>each man, every other being has at one time or another been dear to him."
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