[Advaita-l] rAmAyaNa quotes with regard to stree upanayana

Kathirasan K brahmasatyam at gmail.com
Fri Jul 16 21:16:42 CDT 2010

Namaste Jaldhar,

'sAkshauma vasanA hrushvA nityaM vrataparAyaNA, agniM juhOtisma tadA
maNtravat krutamaMgalA, pravishyatu tadA rAmO mAturaMtaHpuraM shubhaM,
dadarshamAtaraMtatra hAvayanteeM hutAshanaM '

The above verse appears in the version archived at the University of
Goettingen's site:

On 17 July 2010 09:40, Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com> wrote:

> On Thu, 17 Jun 2010, Bhaskar YR wrote:
>  Have you replied this mail prabhuji??  If not, kindly let me know your
>> views on these rAmAyaNa quotes.
> I am sorry but I was only now able to do some research on this.
>  The author of the book Sri R.K. Srikanta Kumara Swamy gives two examples
>> from the vAlmeeki  rAmAyaNa in support of 'stree upanayana'.
>> (a)  ayodhyAkAnda 30-15 & 16 :  sAkshauma vasanA hrushvA nityaM
>> vrataparAyaNA, agniM juhOtisma tadA maNtravat krutamaMgalA, pravishyatu
>> tadA rAmO mAturaMtaHpuraM shubhaM, dadarshamAtaraMtatra hAvayanteeM
>> hutAshanaM...kausalya, mother of Sri Rama without knowing rAma's vanavAsa,
>> by wearing silk dress, was doing vrata and doing hOma by reciting
>> maNtra-s, rAma saw this while entering the antaHpura.
> These shlokas do not occur either in the Nirnaya Sagara edition of Valmiki
> Ramayana reprinted by Indological Book House, Varanasi  which I have or in
> the BORI critical edition.
> In the former, Ayodhyakanda 30.15-16 reads:
> patraM mUlaM phalaM yattu alpaM vA yadi hi bahu |
> dAsyase svayamAhR^itya tanme.amR^itarasopamam || 15 ||
> na mAturna pitustatra smariShymI na veshmanaH |
> ArtavAnyupabhu~njAnA puSpANi cha phalAni cha || 16 ||
> This is part of Sitajis speech saying that she will endure the hardships of
> the forest rather than abandon her husband.
> In the latter the shlokas read:
> te lakShmaNa iva kShipraM sapatnyaH sahabAndhavAH |
> gacchantam anugacchAmo yena gacchati rAghavaH || 15 ||
> udyAnAni parityajya kShetrANi cha gR^ihANi cha |
> ekaduHkhasukhA rAmam anugacchAma dhArmikam || 16 ||
> Also not spoken by Kaushalya.
> Now it is possible that the sequence of shlokas is different in the edition
> your author uses.  There are regional variations etc.  However looking in
> several sargas around the places you mentioned, I was not able to find these
> shlokas.
> Also note that in your authors quote, Kaushalya is mentioned as residing in
> the antaHpUra or Harem.  Women being kept in secluded quarters is hardly a
> sign of egalitarianism is it?  Plus it might be a clue as to a later date
> for these shlokas.  Although such customs did exist in our society prior to
> Muslim influence, (which is when they became widespread.) historians do not
> think they were followed in earlier times when the Ramayana was composed.
>  (b)  sundarakAnda : 14-49 :  saNdhAkAlamanAHshyAmA dhruvameshTati jAnaki,
>> nadeemchemaM shubhajalAM saNdhyArThevara varNinee..Hanuman while searching
>> for seeta in ashokavana thinks that since there is river flowing  here and
>> it is the time for saNdhyAvandana, if seeta around here she would
>> definitely come here to do saNdhyAvandana.
> This one is on firmer footing.  Both the sources  I consulted have this
> (though I think you transcribed it a little bit wrong.)  NS numbers it
> 14-49, BORI has it as 12-48.
> saMdhyAkAlamanAH shyAmA dhruvameShyati jAnakI |
> nadIM chemAM shubhajalAM saMdhyArthe varavarNinI || 49 ||
> The Tilaka commentary which is included with the NS edition notes the
> incongruency of this.
> tatra kartavyasnAnAdau chAstyeva strINAmapyadhikAra iti kathaM strINAM
> saMdhyAvandanamiti parAstaM veditavyaM | kiM cha samyagbhagavaddhyAnasyaiva
> saMdhyApadArthtvenAstyeva tatra striyA adhikAraH | gAyatrImantreNa
> tadarthasmaraNapUrvakaShyAne tu dvijasyaivAdhikAra ityanyat |
> In other words what Sitaji was doing was meditating on Bhagavan at sunrise.
>  This is a type of "sandhya" but it not the same as reciting gayatri with
> arghya etc.  It is totally uncontroversial even in the most orthodox
> families for women to get up at sunrise for meditation, puja etc.
> Your author is making a very imaginative leap to go from that to assuming
> the same karma as men perform is being mentioned in that shloka.
>  Author argues that since according Apasthamba, upanayana saMskAra is only
>> for getting 'vidya' (vidyArjana) both stree & purusha are eligible to
>> undergo this saMskAra.
> That's a bogus argument.  Vidya refers to Vedavidya, not motorcycle
> maintanence or computer science or even vedanta.  Unless he can show that
> strIs are eligible for vedavidyArjana he is asserting what he is trying to
> prove which is a logical fallacy.
> One more thing to consider about the Ramayana as a source.  It goes into
> detail about Shri Ramas upanayana and dwelling in gurukul with Vishvamitra
> Maharshi.  If Sitaji had undergone the same why is the Ramayana silent on
> it?  Her birth and childhood in Mithila is covered.  Even that she learned
> the 64 kalas (which include flower arranging, painting etc.) so upanayana is
> a big deal.  It should have been mentioned too right?  The simplest
> explanation for why it wasn't is because it didn't happen.
> I also meant to reply to this post.
> On Fri, 14 May 2010, Kathirasan K wrote:
>  If I am not wrong Julia Jeslie, in her translation of Stridharmapaddhati
>> (penguin 1995) , has shown through scriptural references that women did
>> engage in such rituals and qualified to do so in early vedic times.
> That women can and did perform various yajnas is hardly controversial.  In
> fact it is the mainstream Mimamsaka view.  But did they do so themselves or
> employ purohits for the purpose?  There is little evidence for the former
> view. Leslie actually focuses on the narrower question of whether women
> underwent upanayana in Vedic times.  Even there a lot of interpretive
> imagination has to be used to fit the evidence to the thesis. Also, if we
> are going by purely historical analysis, the sandhyavandana is not from
> "early Vedic times"  In fact it is part of the latest layer.  For instance
> in the Madhyandina shakha which I am familiar with, it is mentioned in
> exactly one line of the Shatapatha Brahmana.  The vidhi is given in the
> Paraskara Grhyasutra but even there, not in the main body of the text but a
> parishishta ("appendix") called trikandika sutra.
> --
> Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
> _______________________________________________
> Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/
> http://blog.gmane.org/gmane.culture.religion.advaita
> To unsubscribe or change your options:
> http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/cgi-bin/listinfo/advaita-l
> For assistance, contact:
> listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list