Monday, 17 December 2012

Women status during Vedic society

It is interesting to know that during Vedic period women status seems much better than current Hindu society of India and Nepal since woman has been designated with 34 qualities and were respected accordingly I suppose. 

During vedic period, the Rig Veda is the only scripture among those of all religions in which the Divine Truths are revealed to women sages also and in which hymns describing the revelations, like those by the women sage Vak Ambrini find a prominent place in the Rig Veda Samhitā like the hymn (Rig Veda, 10.125) (tenth mandala, 125 sūkta or hymn). There are more than thirty women sages in Rig Veda with specific hymns associated with them. In all the Semitic religions like Christianity, Islam etc., there is no mention of any revelation to women and no woman is listed among the prominent disciples of the founders or prophets of those religions. However, the Rig Veda states that the lady should her own husband (Rig Veda, 10.27.12) and the marriage hymn states that the daughter-in-law should be treated as a queen, samrajni, by all the family members especially the mother-in-law, husband, father-in-law (Rig Veda 10.15). The bride was exhorted to address the assembly:

Rig Veda 10.85.26: .....Become the house-hold's mistress; Ruler of the home, you will address the religious assembly.
Woman is designated as:
  1. Aditi, because she is not dependent (Nirukta, 4/22)
  2. Aghnyā, for she is not to be hurt (Yajur Veda. 8/43)
  3. Bŗhatī, for she is large hearted (Y.V. 11/64)Chandrā, because she is happy (Y.V. 8/43)
  4. Devakāmā, since she is pious. (Aathar Veda. 14/1/47)
  5. Devī, since she is divine (Aathar Veda 14/1/45, Y.V. 4/23)
  6. Dhruvā, for she is firm (Y.V. 11/64) ā
  7. Havyā, because she is worthy of invocation (Y.V. 8/43)
  8. Idā, for she is worshippable (Y.V. 8/43)
  9. Jyotā, because she is illuminating, bright (Y.V. 8/43)
  10. Kāmyā, because she is lovable (Y.V. 8/43)
  11. Kshamā, for she is tolerant/indulgent /patient (A.V. 12/1/29)
  12. Mahī, since she is great (Y.V. 8/43)
  13. Menā, because she deserves respect (Nirukta 3/21/2)
  14. Nārī, for she is not inimical to anyone (A.V. 14/1/59)
  15. Purandhih, for she is munificent, liberal (Y.V. 22/22)
  16. Rantā, because she is lovely (Y.V. 8/43)
  17. ŗtāvarī, ŗtachit, for she is the preserver / forester of truth (R.V.2/41/18)
  18. Sanjayā, since she is victorious (R.V. 10/159/3)
  19. Sarasvatī, since she is scholarly (Y.V. 20/84)
  20. Simhī, since she is courageous (Y.V. 5/12)
  21. Shivā, for she is benevolent (A.V. 14/1/64)
  22. Shivatamā, since she is the noblest (R.V. 10/85/37)
  23. Strī, since she is modest (R.V. 8/33/9, Nirukta 3/21/2)
  24. Subhagā, because she is fortunate (Y.V. 8/43)
  25. Subhdhā, for she is knowledgeable (A.V. 14/2.75)
  26. Sumangalī, since she is auspicious (A.V. 14/2/26)
  27. Sushevā, for she is pleasant (A.V. 14/2/26)
  28. Suvarchā, since she is splendid (A.V. 14/4/47)
  29. Suyamā, since she is self - disciplined. (A.V. 14/2/18)
  30. Syonā, for she is noble (A.V. 14/2/27)
  31. Vīriņī, since she is mother of brave sons (R.V. 10/86/9, 10)
  32. Vishrutā, since she is learned (Y.V. 8/43)
  33. Yashasvatī, for she is glorious (R.V. 1.79.1)
  34. Yoşhā, because she is intermingled with man, she is not separate (Nirukta 3/15/1)

1. Essence of Veda accessed from
2. Women as Rishikas in the Vedas accessed from

3. Women Rishis or Rishika-s accessed from
4. Vedic Designation of Women accessed from

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