Hinduism The Evolution---------------Chapter 6
The rights of everyone to offer pooja that was put forth by the Madhurai 'Periya Aadhiinam' ... and that was rejected by 'Mahaa Periyavar' Sankaraachaariyaar , became a sore point and placed obstacles in the operation of the Association of Mutts. Within few years, the activities of the association started to diminish. The red lotus flower that was plucked from the muddy pond, those activities that was distilled with considerable efforts and energy,to bring unity among various castes and factions of Hindu religion such as 'Vedha Dharma Paripaalana Sabhai', 'Aagama Sirpa Sathash', 'Thiruppaavai-Thiruvempaavai Maanaadu', 'Association of Mutts' ... all initiatives and institutions vanished along with him. After him, there were none within the Mutt, was concerned over these initiatives and institutions. All those red lotus flowers started to wilt gradually ... now they are dried, shriveled and crumbled.
You have read, in the previous chapters about my experiences and observations, with a great man called 'Mahaa Periyavar'. Starting from 'Aadhi Sankarar' (Root Sankaraachaariyaar), I have shared with you my experiences with 'Mahaa Periyavar'. I shall share with you some of my experiences with the sitting Sankaraachaariyaar, at the appropriate time. Next ...? Next, I am going to introduce to you another saint who pitched a piercing vedhaanthic (After Veda) weapon into the 'Adhvaitha' philosophy of Aadhi Sankarar! Who was that? But before that King Rajendhira Cholan son of great Chola King Rajaraja Chola was not only stunned over the conquests and other accomplishments of his father but also resolved to conquer more territories just like father and everyone shall bestow upon him songs of eternal praises. He also set a goal, that eventually became a passion within his chest and was burning with leaps and bounds, to build a temple that is comparable to the one which his father built at Thanjaavur. The result ? He prepared his army for an expedition. With a goal to conquer the lands that is spread in all eight directions, he started towards Northern India. After travelling several days ... his army reached the banks of Ganges River. He got the title 'Gangai Konda Cholan' (The Chola who conqered the Ganges banks). On the banks he met with a Vedic Saint. After Rajendhira Cholan heard the discourses offered by this saint on various Vedic literatures and his intellectually stimulating thoughts ... he came to the conclusion that his victory is not complete unless he takes this 'Vidhvaan' (learned Person) along with him to his capital city. His name was 'Naadha Muni'. Even today, in Gorakpur located in the state of Uthra Pradesh, a sect called 'Naadha Bhandhu' is living following his teachings.
Rajendhira Cholan, who escorted Naadha Muni with utmost respect to Southern India, not only established Gangai Konda Cholapuram (City of the Chola King Who conqured the banks of Ganges) ... but also appointed him as the counsel to the king and worshipped him as person who enlightens him. In addition to offering teachings to the Chola King ... Naadha Muni had indepth knowledge of several Vedhas and Upanishadhs (treatises on Vedha) and one may call him as 'Vedha Muni'. He has composed several 'Slokas' (Praises on God) and his grandson was Aalavandhaar. The relationship between the dynasty of Naadha Muni and the dynasty of Chola king has continued beyond their own generation. Aalavandhaar also in his generation was appointed as the royal counsel to advise on matters of army and tactical warfare. Aalavandhaar, who was in a very important position, to render advise on matters of the kings elephant army, horse army, infantry and royal navy ... was invited by his grandfather Naadha Muni, on several occasions, to acquire knowledge on religious and cultural matters. Even after the insistence by several messengers such as Pundariikaakshar, Murugai Kaavalappan, Aalavandhaar refused to hear the teachings of Naadha Muni on religious and cultural matters.
Born to the granddaughter of Aalavandhaar of above detailed characteristics ... that granddaughter Bhoomipiraatti, who was the sister of grandson of Aalavandhaar, Thirumalai Nambi. The saint who established 'Visishtaathvaitham', Sri Raamaanujar, was the son of Bhoomipiraatti. Just to introduce you about Raamaanujar, there is a poem in Sanskrit, that is packed full of details about him : "Baashanta dhrumahanta dhavathakanaahaa Saarvaaka sailaahanihi Bowththa dhvaanththa niraasa vaasarapathihi Jainebha kanttiira vahaa Maayaaaathi bhujanka bhanka karudahaa Dhraividhya soodaamanihi ... " Thus states the poem. And do you know the meaning of it?
In those days, a scary worshipping method was prevailing in Southern India, in which people sit in a graveyard, collecting all the skulls and worship with certain rituals. He was born as a wild forest fire to burn out the skull worship. There were athiests who believed in the teachings of 'Saarvaakan' ... "There was nothing like God. Everything about God is nothing but the fool's imagination. Humanity was created for living happily. Do not waste your lifetime worshipping this imaginary God" ... He was born as a thunder, to sqeeze these athiests, who were as stobborn as mountain in their belief. Bowththam (Buddhism) ...
Budhdha challenged the Vedhas and he spread nothing but darkness over the humanity. He was born as a rising sun just to destroy this darkness and spread the Vedic light. Just to tame the elephant sized Jainism (At that era Jainism was predominant in the Southern part of India) he was born and charged like a lion. He incarnated in this world as a Vaishnava eagle to pick on and murder the cruel python 'Maayaavaatham' (Adhvaitha teachings of Aadhi Sankarar) that has been giving trouble to humanity ... Thus, Sri Raamaanujar incarnated into this world just to contain and tame the societal illnesses such as the culture of worshipping the skulls, athiest clans, Budhdhist darkness, elephant sized Jainism and the python named 'Maayaavaatham'.
Sri Raamaanujar, who was described as wild forest fire … thunder … rising sun … lion … eagle … What did he say? What did he do? At his early age itself, he memorized the religious texts such as the Vedhas and the Upanishadhs and got involved in discussions and debates.Even though there is wide spread belief that he was born in Sriperumpudur, he neither mentioned in any of his writings about his birth place nor he wrote any details about the presiding deity Vishnu Perumal at Sriperumpudur. Yet another news … He never wrote any ‘grantham’ (sacred texts) in Tamil language. In addition to the Vedhas and Upanishadhs, he learned in detail about his ancesters Naadha Muni and Aalavandhaar. Aalavandhaar composed a verse about his grandfather Naadha Muni and it is given below :
“Janidhvaa vamse maadhikyaa kesathaam Susiinaam sudhdhaanaam Chithsuthithu Eeshwara thathva vishathaam…”
At birth itself, Naadha Muni hailed from very famous and intellectually prosperous dynasty claimed that …” ‘Chith’ that is ‘Jiivaathmaa’ (living soul), ‘Achith’ which is soulless material world, ‘Eeshwaran’ that is the Brammam, all three entities are real. This is statement is diametrically opposite to the ‘Maayaavaatham’ that was advocated by Aadhi Sankarar …” thus, Aalavandhaar in that verse revealed the philosophy of Naadha Muni. Raamaanujar after learning this doctrine ... he soaked himself in the Upanishadhs.
"Nasanthriisee dhshtadii ruupamashya nasak guhaa bathyayii kashyanayeenam hruthaa manishaa manasaa abhikirupthahaa yayeenam vidhuhii amirthaa sthee bhavanththii ..." What this Upanishadh sloka says is ... " 'Bhagawaan' (God) has no shape and he is 'aruupan' (No shape or form). If you cannot accept this fact, you may in your own mind, assume that he has shape and visualize a shape for him. You meditate on that mental vision ...". This is the essence of it. He contemplated on the words of Naadha Muni and that was found in the Upanishadhs ... sowed these seeds in the fertile soil of Vedhanthic knowledge, and concentrated intensely on these facts, and sprouted the new philosophy of Visishtaadhvaitham. What does this say? "It is wrong to state that everything In this world is 'Maayai' (unreal). God has a shape. He resides in Vaikuntham. He only created the Jiivaathmaa (living soul) i.e., us living beings and this world. The shape and form of God is not an imagination of your mind. He has his own real shape and form. He also has a consort with him in Vaikuntham ... We must pray to the God who resides in Vaikuntham" ... This in a nutshell is the teachings of Raamaanujar.
Thus ... Raamaanujar who postulated the new philosophy, to establish this principle and to spread this among the population, undertook several pilgrimage around the country. 'BrammaSooththiram', distilled from the Upanishadhs, is an important Vedhaanthic (Those literatures sprouted after the Vedic period) literature. (Sooththiram or in Sanskrit Sutra literally means a line, thread or formula. In the olden days, when and pen and pencils were not invented, everything was written on palm leaves using sharp nails. Writing was strenuous and time consuming. Hence, everything was condensed and only the essential points were put in writing as a string. Only those who have mastered the art or subject is capable of writing detailed treatises for them.) The expounded volume of a 'sooththiram' is called a 'Bhaashyam'. After reading the 'Bramma Sooththiram' and writing a detailed explanation is extremely difficult and only accomplished Sanskrit scholars who are themselves self realized souls are capable of interpretting and illuminating upon it.
Aadhi Sankarar, the great saint himself, wrote detailed explanation of 'Bramma Sooththiram' and it was called Sankara Bhaashyam. Another great saint Madhvaachaariyaar also expounded upon the 'Bramma Sooththiram' and that was called Madhva Bhaashyam. For the same 'Bramma Sooththiram', Raamaanujar also wrote a treatise. However ... That was not called like other Bhaashyams, Raamaanuja Bhaashyam. Rather it was called with extremely respectfully 'Sri Bhaashyam'. In order to create the Bhaashyam, Raamaanujar needed the original 'Bramma Sooththiram'. He travelled all the way to Kashmir and there he met another elderly saint Boodhaayanar from whom he obtained a copy. Even under present weather conditions Kashmir is very cold and freezing that make everyone shivering ... one can imagine how much solid ice deposits, laying on the ground, several centuries back. In spite of all these obstacles, he travelled to Kashmir, met with Boodhaayanar and obtained the 'Bramma Sooththiram'. Why did he travelled all the way to the Himalayas to obtain a copy? He cound not find one close by? If Raamaanujar wrote a Bhaashyam for 'Bramma Sooththiram', the Adhvaithiis (Followers of Aadhi Sankarar) feared, that he will indiscriminately attack Sankara Bhaashyam written by Aadhi Sankarar. Hence, some devotees of Aadhi Sankara not only blockaded him from obtaining a copy from local sources but also exerted their influence up to Kashmir. If you hide the comb would the wedding come to a stand still? With much difficulty, Sri Raamaanujar obtained the 'Bramma Sooththiram' from the Kashmiri intellectual called Bhoodhaayana Vruththi, and wrote the treatise.
Here is where the contradictions originate from Sri Raamaanujar's writings. In the introduction to the Sri Bhaashyam, Sri Raamaanujar writes ...
"Bhagawath palana dhaanak ruthaam
Visthiiranaam bramma soothra vruththim
Thanmadhaanu saareena soothraa akhadhaarii
The meaning of this verse is as follows ... "The original or earlier 'Aachaariyaas' (the learned masters), those who have composed the 'Bramma Sooththiram', whatever they have intended to say in those verses, I am giving it to you as is. In this treatise, I have not introduced any of my philosophy or my opinion. Whatever they said is also what I am saying". Thus, while Raamaanujar portrayed himself as a 'YES MAN' ... In one section of Sri Bhaashyam titled 'Abhasoothraathiharanam' says the following : "The 'Moksham' (The God's abode) is reserved only for those who constantly meditate the image of God, and chant mantras on his name. What I am saying is applicable only for Brahmins. If non-Brahmin 'Shudhras' longing to reach the 'Moksham' ... They have spend their life span performing non-Brahmin tasks ... and they must pray to God to grant them Brahmin manhood in the next incarnation. In case, God blesses them Brahmin manhood for them in the next incarnation, they must learn Vedhas and Upanishadhs ... continuously meditate on God to attain the 'Moksham'. Just like that ... Brahmin ladies also classified as 'Shudhras'. Because of that, if only they must reincarnate as Brahmin man in the next birth they will be qualified to dedicate their efforts to attain 'Moksham' ...", thus states Sri Raamaanujar. ('Moksham' is conquering over reincarnations, i.e., not coming back to this world and suffer over and over at each birth, reach the place called 'Vaikundam' where the God has his residence, and live happily under his feet and protection.)
However ... There prevails solid message that Raamaanujar climbed to the top of the temple pyramid at Thirukkoottiyur ... and revealed the 'Sacred Mantra' to thepublic so the masses of every caste, creed and gender attain 'Moksham' in this very life. If this incidence has happened in the life of Raamaanujar, why he has not written about it in any of his writings or in his sacred scriptures? One of his own disciple Kooraththaazhwaan says ... "It is wrong to state that the 'Moksham' is reserved only for Brahmins ... People of every caste is, indeed, laboring in this world. 'Moksham' shall be accessible to everyone irrespective of their caste or gender ...". Why did he say such words? We have seen … according to ‘abhasoothraadhiharanam’ presented by Raamaanujar, ‘Moksham’ cannot be attained by non-Brahmins or Shudhraas … In addition, ‘Moksham’ can also be not attainable by Brahmin ladies. We have been mentioning, often, the word ‘Shudhran’ … What is the meaning of this word? Susam+dhraathi … The meaning of Susam is the fatigue or difficult situation that is the result of hard labor. Dhraathi means? … That person who drives that fatigue away. In short, he/she is the person who bears himself/herself, the fatigue that results from hard manual labor … and drives that fatigue away to protect you (Brahmins) from the fatigue. Simply put, in Sanskrit language, it means he works hard to deliver you comforts in life. With the same reasoning, they also honored the Brahmin ladies respectfully with the cadre ‘Shudhraa’. Should the ladies be in the same status forever? We are compelled to explore this question bit moredeeper and churn this issue further to find an answer.
What was the status of women during prevedic period and their status during the Vedic period? Were they suppressed by the men even during the beginning days? … or were they respected and worshipped by the masses? … After the restrictions imposed by society and religion what was the importance of women? What are the answers for all these questions from the time immemorial to this day? Days of primitive culture … i.e., the initial stages of civilization. Before this time period, consider that there existed no civilization. At this period … Men and women were roaming around the earth bare naked. He has no idea that he was given birth by her. Neither she has any idea that she is the one giving birth to men. What it means … Those were the days in which they did not know how to untie the knot that is tied by the nature between men and women. Neither shame nor lust existed between both sexes … Those were the days in which neither sexes realized that she was the drain for his lust … or he was the drain for her lust.
In those days, flocks of men were just roaming by themselves. Climbing up the trees … pluck fruits from the trees … falling flat on the ground from trees … Thus, the man who was crawling on the ground over the hills, in the forests and on the high grounds, for the first time he stood straight and gazed over the woman. He looked once over his hands and legs. He gently rubbed over his face and held his nose with his fingers. He put his hand into his mouth. He tossed his ears and slapped his cheeks. Again, he measured himself from his feet to his neck line. He turned towards her, and as he looked her back again, he was shocked to find that she looked just like him. Of course, there were some differences … She had her chest swelled more than his and stood out. Her hair was flowing, like hair strings, up to her hip. When he saw the pitch black hair hanging around and hiding her face … the first feeling he had was fear. He prepared a schedule of those elements that he feared most in those days, and shrilled, ‘My God … demon … ghost … beast …’.
When they heared the high pitched call, those who were close to him ran towards him. They were also scared as they saw her … and her uncombed hair covered face … and his scared eyes. They shouted “Oh God, we must charge and drive away this ‘ghost’” and concluded to drive that ghost were fetched sticks, stones, dirt and anything that could be used as weapon and hit the ‘ghost’. Any how, as soon as as they encountered the very first woman, the very first sensation they felt was merely fear. But … Did that fear lasted for long? Only when she moved her hair, that was flowing over her face, they saw her whole beauty. As the time passed, they started to understand the nature’s law of reproduction. The one who feared at first, when they saw the women … he began to scare her. He grabbed her hair and pulled it. He beat her severely. Her fear incited him to harm and scare her even more.
During the period of early civilization, the man lived in the plains and river valleys – as he started to plough the land and engaging in agriculture, he created such agricultural implements such as ploughs. In those days he was so much afraid of the animals, as he stayed away from them and did not have the know how to deal with them and domesticate them for useful purposes … As he was pondering over the question of, what shall he do to drag the plough across the field … it occurred to him the idea of those primitive women who are scared of the men. He went and dragged the women, who was executing whatever was asked of them because of sheer fear, by their hair … He tied her long hair to the yoke of the plough and set the yoke on the back of her neck and started to plough the land using the labor of women itself. Was it only this much? No … No … He took bamboo stick and was beating them to make them drag the plough much faster. The women were howling because of severe neck pain. In spite of their pain he was unsympathetic and did not leave them alone. As they were weeping of pain, he continued to plough the land. Even then, the women continued to worship the men.
Can you all imagine and picture this scene in your mind? … If you could not … you may want to see a scene from the old Tamil movie ‘Pazhani’. (You may wonder … What is this? Thaaththaachaariyaar is trying to relate a scene in a movie with spiritual subject … When we want to relate certain facts, shouldn’t one need to use the media and method that they are familiar with and that they understand easily? …). Now that scene in the cinema … Division of property between the siblings, and Shivaji Ganesan got the land that is rough hills that is almost a desert. He was in such dire poverty that he did not have any money to buy bull to cultivate the land. He decided to put women in his family to plough the land. The yoke of the plough was on the back of the women’s necks and Shivaji Ganesan whips the ladies using a whip and carried on ploughing. Thus goes the scene in the cinema. The same imaginary scene, prevailed in reality several thousand years back. The one, who was scared of the wild growth of the women’s hair, used their own hair to tie them in the yoke. Then? …
Before the sprouting of civilization, even though he had the brain, he was couped up in a cave of ignorance, not able to think for himself … we saw the cruelty of him using the women to drag the plough to cultivate the land. After this saga passed … when the Vedic period was emerging, little bit of the light of civilization, was began to shine on him. However … the fear he had over the female gender, began to change into a threat. Already, he used to describe the female gender, in cruel manner, as ghost and animal, saw her as she became pregnant. As her lower abdomen started to bulge, and it was vascilating here and there, he concluded within himself ‘ O.K. for sure she is a ghost … Just few days back she was very lean. Now within few days, suddenly, she is bulging out of proportion. Now he neither reached for stone nor reached for a stick … He started fire and let it burn adjacent to her. Why? … He concluded that her abdomen is bulging disproportionately because she is haunted by another ghost. The fire was to drive the haunted ghost. He believed that the haunted ghost will run away for the fear of the heat from the fire. That is why he lit the fire. This is described in Vedhas as ‘Jaathakarmaa’ and it evolved as ‘Homam’. At first, he believed that pregnant women is ‘ghost within ghost’ and tried to drive away the ghost with fire and this foolishness was wholly adopted by Vedhas and established the sacrificial ‘Homam’.
What is more? … Further, this so called ‘Jaathakarmaa’ or the habit of ‘setting fire’ is even practiced today by Brahmins using it for their livelihood … during the wedding ceremonies they conduct a ‘homa ritual’ (fire ritual) called ‘Jaathakarmaa’. What is the meaning of this ‘Jaathakarmaa’ in the present days? … No ghost or sprits shall haunt the children that are going to be born to this woman who is seated here as the bride. That is the purpose of this ritual. As a forest dweller in those days, the foolish hope he had of the fire … even today the civilized man is carrying and practicing in this modern world, you can imagine the power of the siege that Vedhas put on the humanity. The man who portrayed the women as strange living being that prompts fear and anger, gradually started to enjoy her beauty. How does Vedhas relates this gradual change over? … “For the world to undergo relaxation, the nature and the women are the root elements. Only between them lies, the energy to bring peace to the world, spilling over in the form of beauty … Hence, … Hence? …
‘Puranthir yoshaa jaayathaam …’
What does that mean? … ‘God … please, always you keep the women in eternal beauty. Then only this world and the life in this world will also be beautiful.’” As per Vedhas this is one of the prayers that Brahmins shall perform. That is ... this is calledVedic Prayer. It prays to God for blessings to get those things or characters that are expected.
'Aashyee ejamaanashya virojaayathaam ...' (We are praying to give birth to children with excellent characters). 'sabhaayo yuvaa jaayathaam ...' (That baby shall grow, well learned and shall be respected by the assembly of thinkers and respectable gentlemen). 'Nigaame nigaame bharthanyo varrathu ...' (When we command, the cloud shall descend from the heaven as rain and fall onto the earth). That is, if we request for rain, it shall pour ... Among these prayers, one of the most important prayer was 'The women shall always look pretty. Because of them this world also shall stay beautiful'. O.K. ... What purpose does it serve or what are they going to do, If the ladies retain their beauty, throughout their life? ... If we question the Vedha, it is replying to us through this following 'slokaa' (stanza) ... 'Pathnihii paariinash yasya eese; Pathniyaiva anumadham narvapathi ...'. A women shall be beautiful everyday. No matter, however beautiful she is, she must reside only inside the house. She is the boss of the household. That is, she must attend to, all the duties of the household ... whenever, her husband travels to distant places, to earn income to support the family, she must give protection to the children living in the house. Without leaving the house, she must stay inside the residence, and safeguard her sacred beauty.
At the sametime ... If the husband is going to conduct any 'Yaagam' (ritual of sacrifice) or 'Homam' (offerings into a consecrated fire), at his expense ... he must obtain permission from his wife. The reason being ... all the material used in the sacrifice has to come from the household. Since, she is the manager of the household, her permission is necessary. Thus, this strange custom of 'locking the women inside the house' was stuffed into the Vedham by the man itself ... On one side, the Vedhaas dictates that the women shall be kept inside the house and on the other side of the Vedham ... we can see the vision of modern day ladies ... Where? ... In 'Sthrii samsaatham' ... What is this 'Sthrii Samsaatham'? ... The assembly of several ladies in one place. Yes! that is Ladies convention ... What? Ladies convention in Vedhaa? What? Ladies convention? That too in Vedhaas? What are you talking about? I understand your perplexity. Before we enter the 'Sthrii Samsaatham', let us look at what is said in Vedhaas about general convention. The following 'slokaa's are from Rig Vedha :
"Nasaa sabhaayaththa nabhaathu seyha Nasaa sabhaayaththa vibhaadhu seyha"
That is ... "Whatever it is, every issue shall be discussed in an assembly as to what will be the pluses and minuses before taking an action or any decision, after hearing from very many members, and adopt that action or decision preferred by majority of those assembled." The principle of the parliamentary system that is prevailing today has been proposed by the thinkers of the Rig Vedha era, thousands of years back. O.K. ... What if in an assembly, there is confusion and complexities arise?
"Sanga Sathvam; Sambha Suthvam; Sambo manaamsi jaanathaam"
"Walk in one pathway ; Think alike ; Take an unanimous decision" or in other words (Walk United, Think United, Talk United). Thus, Rig Vedhaa stresses unity and advocates protecting the strength of the assembly. During the Vedic period, 'Sabha' was an assembly established to solve the issues confronting, those civilized people who have been bound under the societal laws. Very knowledgeable thinkers called 'Rishi's were appointed to serve in those 'Sabha'. Various groups of people gather together and render their opinions on various issues brought in front of the assembly. After hearing everyone's view point, the 'Rishi's will decide their rulings and deliver it.
Here you, have not mentioned anything about the women. How are they going to be in the picture? For your question, another 'Sloka' gives the answer. " Thampathiiva grahipitha janesi ...". What this says is that wherever you go ... whomever you are visiting ... why even when you go to visit the God Himself, you take your wife with you. The Vedha that dictated to keep the ladies locked inside the house ... as the time passed, with more understanding, we can conclude that it relaxed the restrictions. (After all the Vedhas are not created all of a sudden in one day and it evolved with time). Based on this statement, each man as they came to the 'Sabha', their wives also accompanied them. Thus slowly, the ladies started to attend the 'Sabha'. As they attend, the proceedings and the issues of outer world started to penetrate into their ears. The ears, that were filled with husband’s commands, slowly began to absorb social issues confronting the society. From the mouth of the ladies, who have not crossed the threshold of their front door, slowly started to come out their opinions on social matters.
When the men heard, the ladies talking about various social issues, they were stunned. How and where did she learned to talk so well? … They were wondering.
“Abhipraavanththaa samane ivayoshaahatha
Kalyaanyaha smayamaanaahaa agnim …”
“Place where everyone is assembled, the ladies were seated equal to the men. Did it stop there? There, around the fire that was burning to provide light, the ladies were seated and they were laughing as well as carrying on conversations.” Upon seeing this … the men who accompanied them were baffled. The Vedhaa is giving an explanation for their puzzle. Take a look …
“sthriinaam dhviganam aahaaram Bhudhdhiis saabi chathur gunam”
… That means, in the house after the males ate they leave the remainds and they leave the house. Whatever, is leftover the ladies will finish it up. So, she ate at least twice the amount of food more than that consumed by male counterpart. The women who ate twice as much as the men … she would have acquired at least four time the intellect than man. Four times the intellect, is what gives them the energy and boldness for them to speak in the ‘Sabha’. Even today, we read in the newspapers, that in the statewide examinations the higher percentage girls pass the examinations than boys and they secure first ranks. The Vedham provides explanation for the girl’s accomplishments. Thus, the ladies who had four times more intellectual capacity their counterpart, began to compose Vedic Mantras. They also were reciting them every day. This blatent fact is contained in the Vedha itself.
“Abhakesma sthriyo; manthra kirutha aasuhii Praa kalpedhu naariinaam; Bounchchii Bhanthathu ishyare Athyaabhanantha Vedhaanaam …”
This means, “The ladies have composed Vedic Mantras. Those mantras, that were composed by ladies, were performed daily ‘Adhyayanam’ (daily recital) by themselves. Especially, those ladies belonging to the ‘Aadhreya Gothram’ (‘Aadhreya sect’) were notable in this accomplishment. Especially, the ladies from 'Aathreya Gothram' excelled themselves in the literary field. 'Aathreya Gothram' means, those ladies are the descendents of the 'Aathreyar' 'Rishi' (extremely learned mystic). What is the meaning of 'Gothram' ? ... It is not have a great meaning. During the Vedic period they used to tie the cows in various herds. Descendents of one 'Rishi' used to ties their cows in one particular place. 'Go' (cow), that is cows were tied in a particular place. The groups divided on the basis of where the cows were tied is called 'Gothram'. Thus the ladies from 'Aathreya Gothram' excelled in their intellectual capacity. These are the ladies who have established 'Sthrii Samsaatham', and convened meetings and discussions exclusively for ladies. This was the ladies convention ... In one of these conventions ...
We have seen, in the previous chapter, about the establishment of 'Sthrii Samsaatham'. The ladies who possessed four times the intellect than men, assembled together, and debated on various issues ... and they were very famous, during Vedic period, for their accomplishments. We learned from various sources that notable ladies such as Gaarkki, Vaasaknavi, wife of Yaghnyavalkiyar Maithreyi were participated in these discussions. While we learned that, such intellectually superior ladies have lived during the Vedic period, message that we are going to see next is shocking and about to shatter our amazement! What is that?
Each and every month, the nature confers on the ladies one troubling period ... Pain of Menstruation! Based on the body science, it is the discharging of bloody matter at approximately monthly intervals from the uterus of breeding-age nonpregnant primate females, generally called period. Using this dischage as a reason, during the Vedic period, the ladies were discriminated and became untouchable. "She is 'Thiittu' (unsanitary and hence, keep her at a distance preferably out side living area, she is filthy and nonhygienic " saying such harsh words, they kept the ladies detached during this period and kept them at a distance. Already the ladies suffering from the natural, biological causes are force endure the discrimination imposed by the opposite sex. For the fetus to develop, to clense the uterus ... monthly, expulsion of the waste products is, the process is the menstruation. However ... During the Vedic period, can you guess, what did they compare this process to, and what reasons they invented for this untouchability? Before we get into it ...
Again, we travel back to 'Sthrii Samsaatham' ... The ladies assembled and they are discussing various issues. Their laughing sound waves are gently floating in the air. During that time instantly, there was a booming noise with ultra brightness. Among the brightly lit clouds descends 'Indhiran' (The king of heaven dwellers). What? Indhiran? Yes! The king of the heaven, who has been enjoying all the joys that heaven has to offer ... the face of the one who lives every day in pomp and luxury ... that face was gory and unsightly. The one whose headful of hair is like red silky fiber, became dry, teased and projecting in all directions. From his ever smiling mouth came out scary sharp pointed teeth. In the face of Indhiran, who descended with pitch black body, one can see the troubling wrinkles. Not only his eyes were weeping but also his entire body was weeping with sweat. His shivering was written all over his forehead. What happened to the King of heaven?
'Brammahaththi Dhosham'. What is that ? ... 'The cruelest of the cruel crime'. A crime that is punishable to the maximum extent. One may term this as the supreme crime in the Vedic period. Those who committed this crime has no recourse or rejuvenation except go crazy and roam around aimlessly. O.K. ... How does one commits such a horrible crime? Murdering a Brahmin is 'Brammahaththi' crime. (Brammam = Brahmin; Haththi = murder). i.e., the crime of murdering a Brahmin is the 'Brammahaththi'. Indhiran has committed exactly such a crime. Nowadays, recently, within the Kaanchiipuram temple, a Brahmin named Sankararaaman, was murdered (Haththi) using such horrible weapons as knives and machete ... Even those people are in front of a Vedic Court committed the same 'Brammahaththi' crime (Dhosam). i.e., they are modern day 'Brammahaththi's.
O.K. ... Let us come back to Indhiran's matter. What did he do to commit such a high crime as 'Brammahaththi'? There was a sage named Kaasyaban. He had two wives named Dhidhi and Adhidhi. Dhidhi was from 'Asura' (demon) caste and hence her children were termed as 'Thaithyar' or 'Asurar' (demons). The other wife, Adhidhi belongs to 'Devar' (angel) caste and hence, her children were classified into 'Devar' caste. One of Adhidhi's twelve children named Thoshta, marries a girl named Rasanaa who belongs to 'Asura' caste. Vishwaroopan was the son of Thoshta from 'Devar' caste and Rasanaa from 'Asurar' caste, and he was a 'prohith' (a priest performing rituals) in the kingdom of Indhiran. After he concluded a sacred 'yaagam' (ritual), he was awarded 'havis' (a gift of certain article, for successfully performing the 'yaagam', that is very valuable and will deliver healthful life) and without the knowledge of Indhiran, Vishwaroopan gave it to his asura uncles. When Indhiran came to know about this ... he was so angry and as he was asking "Why did you give the 'havis' to the asurars ?", not waiting for an answer, with that anger he hacked all three heads of Vishwaroopan. Though Vishwaroopan was born in mixed caste ('Devar' and 'Asurar'), he was considerd a 'Brahmin' as he was a 'prohith'. The person murdered him was Indhiran. Can he relieved without retribution? 'Brammahaththi' haunted him. He travelled to various sacred places and wept for his sin. Roamed everywhere. Aimlessly wandered all over the universe.
At last, Indhiran, came to a realization and thought of trading his 'Brammahaththi Dhosham' with some one and get relief. At first, Indhiran went and met with ‘Bhoomaadevi’ (Goddess of Earth), and cried on her shoulder. She asked him ‘what is the matter?’. He told Bhoomaadevi, “ Devi, this is how I have committed, the supreme crime ‘Brammahaththi Dhosham’… You must absorb my ‘Dhosham’ and bless me”. ‘Bhoomaadevi’ replied “If I absorb all the ‘Dhosham’ myself, how all the living beings in this world, would be happy? Just because you have requested, I will agree to absorb part of the ‘Dhosham’. You handover to me part of it …”. As per the Devi’s acceptance, Indhiran, unloaded small part of the murder charge to ‘Bhoomaadevi’. That part ‘Dhosam’ caused … portions of the world unsuitable for raising crops, parched land and desert land. As a trade for absorbing part of the ‘Dhosham’, Indhiran granted Goddess of Earth a boon that will join portions of the world, if it ever splits due to natural causes such as earthquake. With satisfaction, and associated happiness as a result of unloading part of his ‘Dhosham’ … he turned towards ‘Virutcham’ (trees). He begged the trees “Oh trees … Please absord my ‘Brammahaththi Dhosham’”. The trees bargained for a boon : “In case any body cut us, we must ooze sap from the cut.” After granting this boon, Indhiran unloaded part of his ‘Brammahaththi Dhosam’ on to the trees.
That is the very reason, wherever we cut the trees, the sap oozes out as gum. Asafetida, is nothing but gum that oozed out from ‘Hing’ tree. That is the reason … Brahmins during very important ceremonies such as ‘Thavasam’ (memorials to passed elders), they avoid using asafetida. They consider that this gum is, nothing but a symbol of ‘Brammahaththi Dhosham’ of Indhiran, who murdered a Brahmin. Indhiran, yet in possession of part of the ‘Dhosham’, at last in ‘sthrii samsaatham’ … he appeared in the ladies conference. There? …
After shedding part of the 'Brammahaththi Dhosham' that he acquired by beheading a Brahmin, to 'Bhoomaadevi' (Goddess of Earth) and part to the 'Dhosam' to the 'Virutcham' (trees) ... he was exploring for more places to dump the remainder of the 'Dhosam'. After considerable thought, he appeared in the 'Sthrii Samsaatham'. You may have already read, how and under what shape, he had his entry into the assembly. With his handsomeness evaporated and shedding all his ego ... just like a pauperized very rich man with all the pomp and society, Indhiran appeared in front of the ladies. He also sobbed over their shoulders and laid down his request. "Out of my 'Brammahaththi Dhosham', I am still holding a share. If you are kind enough to shoulder that burden from me, I can once again become the king of the heaven" ... Indhiran kneeled and begged the assembled ladies. 'What are you going to pay us in return?" ... was the question by the ladies. "Whatever you demand" ... replied Indhiran. "In that case ... you grant us the boon that will facilitate us to have sexual relationship with our husbands, from the day we become pregnant till we give birth to child" ... the ladies put forth their request. Except the human race, other species of anumals ... from the day of pregnancy tll the birth of the baby, cub or calf, the male will not close and even smell the female. Only human race is endowed with sexual relationship between man and women during the period of pregnancy. In desperation, Indhiran ... awarded the boon to the ladies that they can have sexual relationship with their counterpart during the term of pregnancy. Along with the boon, he also scrapped the entire, remainder of the 'Brammahaththi Dhosham' and gave it to them. Thus goes this Vedic story.
This is where we must pay attention to the effect of accepting part of the 'Dhosham'. Doesn't Indhiran, completely relinquish his 'Brammahaththi Dhosam' amd deed it to the ladies? ... According to Vedha, that very 'Dhosham' is what causes the menstruation period. That is the very reason, in sanskrit, they called those three days as 'Pakishtai'. That is ... 'Pakishkari' ... stay away ... keep a distance is the meaning of this phrase. The Brahmin ladies are holding within them, the crime of killing a Brahmin known as 'Brammahaththi Dhosham'. That is why the Vedhas calls them as people with 'Dhosham'. If you go further ... The Vedhas devised their fate, by tying a knot between what happens in their natural biological cycle, and a fictional story of Indhiran and thereby paved a way to discriminate and keep the women at a distance. On one hand, the Vedha has chased and chased the ladies to create trouble for them ... on the other hand, you will be amazed to find that, it has conducted competition for women to select the most beautiful among them. Just like in modern days we conduct 'Miss World' competition, you may imagine 'Miss Vedha ...' in those days. To that extent, the Vedic period, has proposed the ladies as a beauty object and treated them accordingly. How? ... This is how!
"Yadhaashavai yohaahaa; svarnam kraniyam pesalam Viprathii roopaani aasthi ..."
During the Vedic Period, how the ladies were stepping on the boardwalk ? ... Wearing, body full of Gold ornaments and jewelries ... gently moving her very lean soft body ... taking very small steps as if measuring the walkway using each footsteps, she is walking. How is her beauty is radiating to the spectators ... was similar to that of a colorful glittering of a spreading drop of ghee (clarified butter) over the surface water ... just like that, Vedic Sloka describes the girls wearig all the jewelries and the shining as they were walking. Is this the only beauty that counts? ... Is external beauty the most important for ladies? ...
"Supraahaa kanyaahaa yuvadhayahaa subheshasahaa karmakirudhahaa sukirdhaahaa viiryaapathihi ..."
"The woman is bright like a lamp. Even if her eye sight falls on an object, that object will shine. She can attract others towards her. She can arouse desire among men of such intensity and force them to want to live with her. She likes to decorate herself excessively. She will always be, restlessly, doing something or other. She always concerned about the future and accordingly she plans the present to cope with the future. Above all, the she only has the strong body and a determined mind." ... Thus this 'sloka' describes about the ladies of the Vedic period.
O.K. ... O.K. ... The Vedha that praises the ladies, starting from the body to the mind ... In the Vedic period, how did it treat the ladies, during the most important ritual 'Yaagam' (Vedic rituals)? ... Let me give you an example. Few years back, a 'yaagam' was conducted in Thiruchchoor. 'Soma Yaagam'. Almost four thousand educated ladies came to that 'yaagam'. Everyone was very civilized, modern day ladies. I also participated in that 'yaagam'. Those who conducts the 'yaagam', after seeing so many ladies filled in the 'yaaga saalai' (the shed where the yaagam is conducted), were taken back and started to think for a while. Then they announced loudly "Ladies ... all of you, take the end of your saries and cover your ear and face ...". To obey the call, all ladies took the tip of their saries and covered their ear and face. Why is this covering? ... The mantra that is pronounced during the 'yaagam' shall not fall into the ears of the ladies. If it falls into their ears, the full benefit of conducting the 'yaagam' would not be realized. That is why their ear and face shall be covered. This incidence happened only few years back at Thiruchchoor, in Kerala state. I can also show you examples such as this from the Vedha itself. However ... even today, the 'yaagam' that is conducted with such restrictions ... I wanted you to let your imagination wander, into the Vedic world, to picture the status of women of that period. We have explored the beauty of the body of the ladies and the treatment of them during 'yaagam' during Vedic era ... How was the wedding during that time period? ... Who was the very first bride? ...
Have you realized from previous section, how the ‘Vedham’ (Vedha) has taken a woman’s natural biological cycle, and created imaginary stories and knots to find a way to suppress them in the society? Next … we will look at the most important event in the life of a woman, which is wedding. Described in Vedham, at few places as ‘Vivaaham’ and in other places as ‘Paanigrahanam’, wedding appeared to have been conducted during Vedic period with excess pomp and considerable expense. First of all … we must understand, what is the meaning of ‘Vivaaham’ because, till today, the wedding invitations are called ‘Vivaaha Subhamuhoorththa Paththirikai’ and printed with that title. ‘Vivaaham’ is derived from tribal (Those people living in hill regions) language that means abducting (grabbing and running away). To justify this meaning, in weddings there is a ritual that was injected in which the relatives carry the bride. (Generally, it is called in Tamil as ‘Ponnu Thookkuthal’ or ‘Ponnu Eduththal’, which literally means lifting of the bride and traditionally the mother’s brother has the right for this ceremony).
O.K. ... Now we will get back to wedding during Vedic period. How does the initial steps to the wedding starts? First, it sends she broker and directs him "First you go and see the girl and give a feedback", thus :
"Prathak manthaa thiyasaanasya
Varebhi varaathu kaasupra thiiththaa
Aasmaa kaminthraa upayam jiithoshathii ..."
This vedic mantra gives instructions to the broker the proper protocol for investigating about the bride and her backgrounds. "When you visit with the family, you must wear very luxurious and elaborately ornamented dress, and go with the attitude of a very rich man. If not, the potential bride's family will assume that the groom's family is beggers and reject the alliance. Thus, 'Vedham' establishes that the broker shall assume the responsibility of representing the groom's family even in appearance. After, the broker had discussions with the bride's family ... next step is the bride and the groom meet and mutually exchange their sights. Where do they see each other? At the wedding stage! After that they hold their hands together, i.e., 'Paanigrahanam'. At that time, they instruct the bride :
"Thoshtaa asbhai thuvaampathim
Thoshtaa sahasramaaham shihii
Dhiirgghamaayu kthunaavathaam ..." ... means
"Hey ... girl! this is the person sent for you by the God. From here on, this person is everything for you. He is your husband. Your heaven shall be nothing but obeying his words alone. By the command of God, you shall marry this person. If you ask, to what extent you must live with him ..."
"krupnaa mithe suprajaa asthvayaa
mayaabhathya jaladhashtim yadhaasahaa" ... means
"Even after you become an old lady, he is the only companion for you" ... thus states the 'Vedham'. Generally, this is how the weddings took place during Vedic period. Who was the very first bride in Vedic age? How did her wedding took place? In the tenth chapter of Rig Vedha is spilled with details about the very first bride.
A girl named Ushas, also known as (a.k.a.) Sooryaa, is in love with Somaraaja (Chandhiran or moon). i.e., she is in love with moon. She wanted to marry only him and nobody else but him. However ... she was struggling, because she doesn't know how to bring this to the attention of her father. In the meanwhile, Sooryaa's father was beginning to arrange for her wedding. How? He has sent invitation to all the kings in the world and requested them to participate in a challenge. The challenge: Whoever wants to marry Sooryaa shall appear in his kingdom at a paticular place and time with their chariot. There, everyone shall participate in a chariot race. At an established distance will be finish line and whichever chariot reaches first at the finish line, that king is entitled to get Sooryaa as the bride. In this manner ... every king in the world was invited to participate in the competition. Every one was determined to get Sooryaa as a bride, and they all came to the designated place with their chariots. That place was so colorful. Chariots with their horses, from several countries, were well decorated and were formed in rows. Among them was also the king Somaraajaa, who is in love with Sooryaa, arrived with his chariot. Sooryaa, was shuddering all over. She was very anxiously waiting for the result. Will my hero scurry through the competition and hold her hand in marriage? The competiion has started. To bring the chariots to the post line, drums of the king, were beaten. With desire to get Sooryaa as the prize object, the kings were galloping their horses towards finish line.
Among them was also Aswathi Raajaa, who had strong desire to get the beautiful Sooryaa. Are you asking for reasons, why he should not have any desire, for Sooryaa? Basically, what was dragging his chariot? They were not horses but they were donkeys. Among the horse drawn chariots, Aswathi Raajaa was also galloping his donkey drawn chariot. Sooryaa ... was in the balcony of the palace and was intensely watching the race. While she was praying for Soma Rajaa to be ahead of the pack ... with nobody's expectation ... the chariot race that was conducted to give away Sooryaa as a gift ... pushing behind several horse drawn chariots, with substantial speed, advanced the donkey drawn. chariot. Yes! ... by defeating several kings with horse drawn chariots, Aswathi Raajaa reached the finish line first. The race ground was stunned. How could a donkey drawn chariot defeat so many horse drawn chariots and came in first place? Everyone was puzzled. At the sametime ... Sooryaa, who was winessing the race from the balcony, astonished upon the victory of Aswathi Raaja. Because her lover Somaraajaa was defeated in the race ... she realized, that certainly she cannot hold his hand in marriage.
Minutes after the victory was announced, the arrangements for wedding of Sooryaa with Aswathi Raajaa, was progressing in a rapid pace. Her eyes were welled up with tears as Soma Raajaa, the one she loved most, slipped off of her hand. Even her cheeks swelled up with prolonged weeping. Under these circumstances ... just like the unexpected winning of Aswathi Raajaa in the chariot race, again with noone's expectation, another strange incidence happened. Aswathi Raaja himself called for Sooryaa. "Devi (Beautiful young lady) ... I am aware of your love affair with Somaraaja. I came only to participate in this race. To my surprise, I became your groom. Even now, nothing has happened. You, as per your wish, marry Somaraajaa himself. I am perfectly in agreement with this decision" ... thus, to noone's expectation Aswathi Raajaa united the hands of Sooryaa and Somaraajaa.
This is how the very first recorded wedding happened in the Vedic age … It happened with considerable splendor and extravagance. According to Vedha … After the wedding, during the sending off to husband’s place, ‘Siithanam’ (wedding gifts) is very important. “From here on, what else are you going to do for her … Really nothing. Hence, in a lump, give all the necessary gifts for her, that will serve her throughout her life …” thus states the Vedham. Hence … for the newly married bride, essentials such as jewelries, silk saries, perfumes and several valuable articles are gathered and the bride’s family send it along with her. Just to get an idea of how much ‘Siithanam’ to be sent, let us look at this sloka from ‘Vedham’.
“Ee … gantharvaahaa apsarasya Devihi
Eeshii virushhesu aashathe shivaasthe …”
“Ee … angels … messengers between the gods and humans … we are sending our daughter after the wedding. We are sending the wedding gifts for her in vehicle after vehicle. All these gifts shall reach her place safely. Since, they are very valuable articles, please guard that merchandise so they are not haunted by ghosts and spirits and is not abducted by them as well.” … thus prays this Vedic mantra.
Is ‘Siithanam’ only in the form of material things such as jewelries and perfumaries?... ‘Vedham’ also introduces to us another new form of ‘Siithanam’. It is called ‘Anudheyi’. What is the meaning of ‘Anudheyi’?... What is the use of this?... I understand your anxiety. ‘Anudheyi’ is not a material thing. That is a moving living being. After the wedding, as the bride leaves for the home in which she will be living for the rest of her life, this living being will also follow her. This living being will follow all the instructions of the bride. Are you wondering, what kind of strange ‘Siithanam’ it is?... The meaning of ‘Anudheyi’ is … ‘keeps following a person and executes the command of the person’. Here … it is another girl. Yes … giving another girl as the ‘Siithanam’ to the bride. For the very first bride Sooryaa, they gave another girl named ‘Raibhi’ as ‘Siithanam’ and sent her along with the newly wed. She was sent as ‘Thozhi’ (companion) for the bride. This ‘Siithana’ girl called ‘Thozhi’, must she, continuously live only in the new house of the bride?... Wouldn’t she have her own independent life in the future?... That is, would she ever get married?... If we keep ‘Anudheyi’ in the focul point and raise our apprehensions in the form of questions … The ‘Vedham’ also gives answers. “What to say?... Why are you thinking about her welfare?...”.
All of the above were the happenings after the wedding. At this time, I need to tell you, in detail, about some important ritual that happens before the wedding. Before, we get into the details of that ritual, please know about this special mantra :
“Maadhaamudhraanaam thuhidhaa pasoonaam
Svas aadhithyaanaam amirtha syanaabhihi
Pranubosam sidhuhe janaayo
Maakaa panaakaam athithu vasishta …”
“I am saying this for everyone. Why are you taking a sacred event like wedding and spraying blood all over it? They are ignorant and any harm to them is a sin. Why are you killing them and putting into heaps? We must consider them as mothers and worship them in sacred manner. Instead of that should we put a butcher knife on them?... Stop that nonsense!” … Thus, the day before the wedding, during the ritual called ‘Madhuvarkkam’, one of the individual, in a loud voice appealing, to the performers of the ritual. What is the reason for his shouting?... What are they butchering?
“Vivaahe gowhii … kruhe gowhii …”
At the house of wedding, they are butchering only the cows.
What?... In the wedding rituals, are they butchering cows? Yes … In the wedding that is devised by ‘Vedham’, the most important aspect is the ‘gomaamisam’ (cow meat). The day before wedding, ‘Maappillai Azhaippu’ (welcoming groom) ritual takes place. One of the ritual on this day is ‘Madhuvarkkam’. According to Vedic rule, during this ritual … and subsequent rituals during the wedding day, it is quintessential to have Rishis (self realized souls or yoga masters) and the ‘gomaamisam’ (cow meat).
Nearby, in a house (‘giraham’), wedding is taking place. The noice from the ‘yaagam’ and the sounds of mantras are raising from the earth towards the sky like rumble. The smell of the perfumaries are dancing around the nostrils. In this auspicious surroundings, near that house, two boys are having a conversation.
One boy : “Hay! What is that? There I hear crackling noise like ‘Mata Mata’?” The other : “You do not know? Next door there is a wedding. Several Rishi’s are in attendance. What a sin … Can the calves escape from the butchering knives? The noise of butchering them is ‘matamataayathe’ (it sounds like ‘mata mata’).
This is a Vedic story. That is, during the Vedic days, for the wedding feast they have butchered calves and made delicate dishes.
However … Even today’s wedding, with or without knowing meaning of it, the ‘vaathyaarkal’ (‘Prohith’ Brahmin conducting the ritual) thay recite the mantra that is applicable for butchering the cows. But … During ‘Madhuvarkkam’, instead of ‘gomaamisam’ they hand over bananas. If that is so, why recite that mantra? If that mantra is to be recited during the butchering of the cows, why recite it when the cows are not butchered? If that mantra is recited, shouldn’t, then butchering of the cows has to take place? If butchering of the cow does not take place, why not discard that mantra? Just like this … reciting ‘Gowhii … Gowhii … ‘ they are conducting another ritual during wedding. On the wedding day … they recite a mantra that is to be recited during the feasting of ‘gomaamisam’. However, eating the ‘gomaamisam’ the bride and groom are made to amuse each other by rolling around coconuts.
Why are these ambiguities? With changing times, the Brahmins who has changed the rituals, why are they very stubbornly holding onto the Vedic mantras? This is not only Brahmin’s weddings … but also in the weddings of other castes, these very contradictory mantras only are recited. What kind of relationship exists between eating beef and rolling around coconuts? We will see in the following pages some more inconsistencies in the rituals and mantras. Thus, the wedding takes place. How the bride shall behave in the husband’s residence?
“Paridhvaa girvano graham
Jiishtaa bhavanthu jiishtaayaa …”
“Girl … In the ‘Siithanam’ that we have presented to you, there are gold thread embedded saries, that can enhance and add to your natural beauty. If you wear them, you may be decorated exquisitely. But … as you know, all these beautiful saries and threads will one day be decomposed … will be decayed … will be disintegrated. However … there is a ‘vasthiram’ (expensive clothing) for you,that will never disintegrate. In the house that you set foot for your future, your husband and other relatives, shall talk highly and have nothing but praises for you. Their admiration and their appreciation is for you, the real ‘vasthiram’ … Hence, in the husband’s house, you must behave to their liking, and wear only the ‘vasthiram’ that is woven with their praise as thread.” The ‘Vedham’ that is handing over plenty of advise to the beride … It also, through a story of Agasthiyar gives advise on, how to treat a bride after wedding, and how not to treat her.
‘Agasthiya Munivar’ (Saint Agasthiyar), was a very short person. At the instant, when he saw an young lady named ‘Lopaa Mudhrai’, he desires climaxed to a level that he determined get her. Agasthiya Muni directly went to her father. “I have seen your daughter, and I am determined to marry only her”… as Agasthiyar said, the father of the girl stared at the Muni for a while and said “Why don’t you talk to my daughter herself, and findout whether she is willing to marry you or not”. If I go as is, in my present form (short with pot belly), would ‘Lopaa Mudhrai’ accept me for what I am? He looked at himself for a moment. He was not happy with his own appearance, and hence, he recited certain mantras and relieved him, of his short and fat figure, to a tall and handsome lad. Agasthiyar went to meet with ‘Lopaa Mudhrai’. He talked with her. ‘Lopaa Mudhrai’ was mesmerized with Agasthiyar’s youthful build up and his saccharine words and in that intoxicated stage she placed a garland around his neck, symbolizing wedding. She accepted him as her husband. Agasthiyar was overwhelmed with the result. He ran back to Lopaa’s father. With excitement he announced that ‘You see, I am married to Loopaa now’. Only after the wedding, Lopaa has witnessed Agasthiyar’s real physical envelope. Later on …?
Lopaa Mudhrai, for the first time witnessed, Agasthiyar’s natural physical form, only after their wedding. He was with short midget form, with long beard and mustache covering his entire face like a forest of hair. She was so disappointed, and the thought of her being deceived as a very handsome person, by such an ugly person, infuriated her and she was angry and burst into weeping. However … doing the duties to the husband is the ‘dharma’ (obligation) of a wife. As per that obligation … Lopaa was spending her life span, by serving faithfully her husband ‘Agasthiyar’. As soon as he gets up in the morning, he completes his ablution … Later on, he has been engaged himself in research related to Vedic mantras … and after that have breakfast … again meditation … reciting mantras … later on spending long nights, under the light of lamps, composing various mantras … finally, fall asleep. This was the daily schedule of Agasthiyar. He neither paid any attention to nor thought of, the women, who he desperately sought and pleaded to get married. Lopaa, as she was diligently carrying on her dharma, patiently waiting and longing for her husband’s attention.
As the time was passing by … mantras, disciples, ‘kamandalam’ (water jug) … thus dedicating his life for others, one day a thought came to him … ‘upto this day I never paid any attention to Lopaa… I have been treating her merely as a household servant and took advantage of her … have not given her any pleasures and attention that a wife expects and deserves from a husband … I have married a very beautiful lady, but what a pity that I ignored her presence all this time …’ thus, Agasthiyar was haunted by chain of thoughts. Agasthiyar’s thoughts about Lopaa Mudhrai’s worldly life … Just like, performing 'Soorya Namaskaaram' (Sun salutations) after one became blind, because each of them crossed their eighties. Lopaa, on whom the beauty was ruling over, now the old age is ruling. On her beautiful face and on her body, the God of Time, wrote his chronicles in the form of wrinkles. What used to be pitch black headful of hair, he applied on her hair white paint. If He has played havoc so harshly on extremely beautiful Lopaa Mudhrai ... would he spare Agasthiyar alone? ... With grey hair he became a frail old man. In this background only, as he thought about 'Lopaa Mudhrai ... Agasthiyar ran towards her.
Agasthiyar said “Deity … mother … I am your husband, came to see you” and as he was touching her shoulder … Lopaa Mudhrai, only now she has opened her mouth for the first time, and started talking to him. “Because of you, my life is ruined. All the beauty, that God has blessed me with, went into the drain. What is the use of you coming back to me now?... How can you justify this?...” thus ‘Lopaa Mudhrai with welling tears, spilled her rage. “Devi (Goddess) … all the mantras that I have recited and composed is only for you …” with these words, as Agasthiyar was trying to console her … “Can I marry the mantras and carry on my married life with Mantra? Is my husband you… or these mantras?” … retorted Lopaa Mudhrai. Agasthiya Muni was stunned with these words and was frozen. All the students of Agasthiyar were witnessing this scene and only through them, this Vedic story was revealed. The moral of this story is that after marrying a women, if you are not catering to her needs and comfort, that is the greatest sin of all.
O.K. … Coming back, you may recall in the last chapter, I promised to give you additional examples of contradictory mantras that the prohits recite during wedding ceremonies. Here is another such mantra :
“Thaampooshan sivathamaam eevayasva
Yassaam Bhiijam manushyaa bhavanththii
Yaana ooru ushathi visrayaathai
Yasyaa mushanthahaa prasharepashebham …”
This is a Vedic mantra. This mantra, in modern day wedding is recited loudly by the prohith (Brahmin), as the bride and groom are seated on the wedding stage. If the meaning of this mantra known … you may call that prohith simply as ‘vaathsaayanar’ (The author of naughty book Kama Suthra). To go to that level, what does that mantra says? “I (Groom) will embrace her (Bride). At that time, Angels … you must assist us, in exactly aligning up and fitting our sexual organs together”. I cannot reveal the meaning of this mantra in any other subtle civilized way. If I describe any further, the respect you have on me and my age will evaporate instantly. That is the nature of this mantra.
One of my friend’s daughter was getting married recently. That girl was very intelligent and very proficient in Sanskrit language. While she was sitting on the wedding stage … As the 'Vaathyaar' (Prohith) loudly reciting this mantra ... "Swaamii ... Stop it right here" ... she shut his mouth up. Further she continued ... "Do you know the meaning of this mantra? ... A bride and groom, what act they carry on in their bedroom without clothes ... you are telling in front of this crowd ..." 'Vaathyaar' did not continue this mantra any farther. If you ask, why am I telling these things is to point out to you that ... priests sometimes, in the name of rituals, without knowing the meaning of the mantras ... reciting several mantras in front of the public. Just like this another mantra :
"Vishnur Yoni garbbayathu
Thoshtaa roopaani biimisathu
Dhadha garbbanthaathu ..."
The meaning of this is yet more vulgar! ... This sloka that starts with " Vishnur Yoni garbbayathu ...", what is it's meaning?... "A women's sexual organ is divided into three parts. They are 'Yoni', 'Madhyamam' and 'Upastham' and in each part there is an angel is residing and guarding. These angels are 'Vishnu', 'Thoshtaa' and 'Dhadha' and they are sitting in these three parts respectively and guarding. These angels ... while a man and woman have sexual intercourse, they are monitoring to see that everything is functioning properly. If I go further, even while we have sexual relationship, angels including 'Vishnu', staying closeby, if I go further, at the very same place the actions are taking place, are monitoring our activities very closely. These energies 'Vishnu', 'Thoshtaa' and 'Dhadha', who are monitoring the activities, shall bless the couple pregnancy" ... thus states this mantra. We consider, woman as goddess. But ... this mantra is relaying to us that in the woman's sexual organ itself there are three deities who have divided their territories and guarding it. You may consider it as high esteem for woman. The great modern day Tamil poet Kannadaasan wrote 'Andha' (That) 'Rangan' (Presiding deity at Sri Rangam temple) knows 'Andharangam' (secret place). However, it appears that 'Vedham' has preceded his statement.
Here another important point ... the wedding during the Vedic age was, mostly, called as 'Garbhaadhaanam' ("The rite by the performance of which a woman receives semen scattered (by her husband) is call Garbhalambhanam or Garbhadhana."). Earlier we have seen that 'Vivaaham' means abducting and 'Paanigrahanam' means holding hands. Why all these?... What else for? Only to perform the 'Garbha' (womb) and 'Dhaanam' (Donation) ... have children and live happily ever after. That is why the 'Vedham' noted the wedding as 'Garbhaadhaanam'. "Vedham' has recorded a conversation between a groom and a bride as they were seated in the wedding stage to demonstrate this relationship.
Bride says : "My dear husband ... I am very fortunate to get you as my husband. It was 'Punniyam' (good deed) that I became your wife. You must bring all your earnings directly to our house. Similarly, you must also share your sexual pleasures only with me. You shall not be flirting around, with different, different women ... Is that O.K.?"... Groom replies : "Since you are a female, you are very clear in your thoughts. I shall surrender all my earnings in your hands. At the same time ... you must not demand that I shall have sexual pleasures only with you. If you want it that way, then you must always retain, your youthful beauty. If you can safeguard your beauty, there will not be any occasion to drift away from you"... This is given in the following mantra.
murththaanam bhathyu raaroha"
"The girl, after getting married ... she must always be seated on the husband's head. i.e., she must be dwelling in his mind and filled in all his thoughts. She must be the one filled in all his brain cells. Then only he will not be drifting away towards other women. Isn't it?"... Thus states the 'Vedham'. If she must fill into each of his brain cells, how should she carry on her responsibilities?
Dhashsruhaa anukoolathaa thathbhandhuhii
Anumiruthyassa nithyam thathvatha thaaranam
sammaarjana anure paapyaam
graha mandala vardhanaahi aathmaanum pooshhesyathaa"
"From the day you held his hand, he is your God. You shall not go anywhere without him. You boil hot water for his bath ... Massage his leg ... hold onto his hands if he needs help ... If he is sleeping you wave a hand fan to comfort him ... Only by these deeds you can dwell in his mind"... O.K. ... She lives by these rules ... She is firmly seated in every brain cells of her husband. Life goes on happily. One day ... because of aging or health reasons, the husband puts down his head. That is ... He is dead. The whole family is grieving. The chidren, with their ignorance, are playing over their father. From the young bride's eyes the tears are dropping like a waterfall, with the thought, 'the one who loved her so much is now laid as a corpse, lifeless' ... at this point in time what are her needs? ... Consoling words! "My dear girl, do not grief over his death. His fate has taken him away. Your children are depending upon you. It is very unfortunate... You only has to take care of them and bring them up to be good persons ... Go ahead and weep. After the grieving, you must get back to your children and must live with them happily"... Shoudn't you be consoling her in this manner? Let us see, what kind of advise the 'Vedham' offers for her :
"bhathyou janithvam abhi sambha boova ..."
What is the meaning of the Vedic mantra that starts with these words?... "Your husband is dead. Very unfortunate ... From here on, who is going to take care of you? ... If you stay at your husband's house any longer, wouldn't you be a encumber to his family? ... Aren't you a burden? ... How your husband's family is going to support you?... Hence ... "
Hence ...? Yes dear ... Should you be living, as a burden to the house you were sent to live ... and with tears wet eyes all your life? Hence, you also go along with your husband. In his stacked heap of funeral pyre, we will stack you also and burn you along with him. Is that O.K.? When she lit the fire, herself, we call it 'Thiikkuliththal' or 'Sathi'(self immolation). Finally, 'Vedham' sent her to the funeral pyre. For the yound widow, this was THE END. This trickery (‘sathi seyyal’ = doing tricks) was in short called as ‘Sathi’. Rajaram Mohan Roy, the famous social reformer from Bengal, and other later day reformers were fighting to abolish this rite. Why go that far?... Even few years back in Rajasthan state, a lady named Roopkanwar, was burnt alive after her husband died. This is an example of how the light from the Vedic fire, for centuries has been, throwing its radiation on everyone. We have seen various commentaries, on women’s role in the society, based on Vedic rules. We apologize, for all the ladies who were burnt alive, because of these conniving ‘Sathi’ rituals dictated by the ‘Vedham’ and we pray for their soul to rest in peace. Even if we think of praying for their peace, in general, another Vedic mantra is placing obstacles.
Today … we witness, for the dead mothers, the sons regularly and dutifully performing rituals such as ‘Siraarththam’, ‘Thivasam’, ‘Thithi’, on the river banks or at the sea shores. They retain the services of a ‘Vaathyaar’ and pay him for the same … and through him every year with tears they pay tribute to their departed mother hoping to wholeheartedly get her love and blessings. However, let us look at the mantra recited during this ritual :
“enme maathaa pralulopasarathi
Annav vrathaa thanme rethahaa
Pithaa vrunththaam aapuranyahaa avabhathyanaama”
“Who fathered me? I do not know who my father was. Only because of other’s words I have to believe that I was born to that particular person. But, even today, I really do not know who my father was. Only my mother knows this fact. For that wonderful mother, please take my tribute and hand it over to her. Mantras with such vulgarity, which questions their own mother’s faithfulness, is recited by ‘Vaathyaar’ and he requests the sons to repeat the mantras. The sons repeat mantras, such as these, without knowing their own meaning. Those, who understood the meaning of mantras such as these, during the future ‘Thivasam’ for their mothers, would they repeat the mantras again? Those, who knows the meaning of mantras, would they warn the prohiths, not to even open their mouth and pronounce them ever again?
Posted by Nilamaikarar