Brahmacharya or student life
“Let a student boy or girl who has not violated his vows of Brahmachaarya(student-life), and has conducted himself, righteously according to the advice of his preceptor, enter married life after he has studied with their subsidiary sciences, the four Vedaas, three Vedas, two Vedas, or one Veda only.” MANU : .
“Let him, who has faithfully discharged his duties towards his preceptor and received from his father, – natural or spiritual (i.e., the teacher), the gift of the knowledge of the Veda, sit on an elegant bed, decked with a garland of flowers; and let his father ( natural or spiritual) honor him with the present of a cow.” MANU : . A female student possessed of the aforesaid qualification should also be honored in the same way by her father.
“Let a twice-born man (Braahman, Kshatriya, and Vaish) after having obtained the consent of his teacher and taken the bath ( prescribed for the ceremony of Return Home from the seminary), return home and espouse a maid, of his own Class, endowed with excellent qualities.” MANU : .
“A girl, who is not descended on his mother’s side within the sixth degree and does not bear the same family name (Gotra) as his father’s. is eligible for marriage.” MANU : .
It is a fact that “we do not love or value a thing, that we are familiar with, so much as one that is hidden from our view.” SHATHAPATHA BRAAHMANA. For instance, if a person has heard a great deal about the sweetness of sugar, but never tasted it, his mind is taken up with the desire of tasting it. Or when we hear a person, who is not known to us, highly extolled for his excellent qualities, it makes us very eager to make his acquaintance. For the same reason, a man should marry a girl, who comes from a distant country and is not a near relative either on his mother’s side or father’s side.*
The advantages and disadvantages of distant and near marriages
The advantages and disadvantages of distant and near marriages respectively are:-
. Any two persons who have, in their childhood, lived near each other, played and quarreled together, loved one another, noticed each other’s faults, imperfections, ebullitions of temper
*At Washington city before the National Medical Association long since in the session there, Dr. S.M. Bewis made the following shocking statement: “My researches give me authority to say that over ten per cent of the deaf and dumb, and over five percent of the blind , and nearly fifteen percent of the idiotic in our State institutions for subject of these effects, are the offspring of kindred parents.”
and misbehaviors, and perhaps sometimes, even each other undressed, if married to each other, can never love each other to the extent desired.
. The marriage of near relatives does not improve the race from want of interchange of fluids and essences (such as blood) of the body, it rather deteriorates it, This is analogous to the addition of water to water, no new quality being produced.
. As the addition of sugar and such medicines as ginger, improves the taste and quality of milk, so does the marriage of people, who are not related to each other (either on father’s or on mother’s side), improve the race.
. As in the case of an invalid, change of climate and diet very often effects a cure, so does marriage with foreigners or distant people improve the health of the parties and prove beneficial in every other respect.
. When the parties are nearly related to each other and live amongst their people, the sorrows and joys of one family will
affect the other and there will be many occasions for family disputes to arise; while marriages among distant people and consequent separation from relatives lengthen the thread of mutual love. This is not the case when they live near their people.
. When marriages are contracted with people of foreign or distant countries, things and news from those countries can be easily obtained (and consequently relations between different countries become closely established). This is not possible when people marry near relatives or persons living near their homes, or, in their own country.
In Sanskrit a daughter is called duhitri (from Du – distant, Hit – good), because the marriage of a girl to a man who comes from a distant country or distant part of the same country is productive of good.
. If the bride’s people do not live very far from her husband’s home, there is a possibility of her parents becoming poor, as whenever she visits her parents, they will have to give her something or other by the way of a present.
. If their people live near at hand, on any slight friction taking place between the husband and the wife, she, feeling assured that her people will support her, will at once leave her husband and go to her parents. That may become the cause of mutual reviling and wrangling, for, women, as a rule, are so easily offended and pleased.
Choosing a spouse
“In connecting himself with wife, let a man studiously avoid the following ten families, be they ever so great in political power or rank, or ever so rich in cows, goats, horses, elephants, gold or grain.”* MANU : .
*Similarly, while choosing a husband, let a girl avoid a man from the aforesaid families.
“The family which is not religious, that which is destitute of men of character, that in which the study of the Veda is neglected, that the members whereof have long and thick hair on the body and that which is subject to such diseases as Piles, consumption, Asthma, Bronchitis, Dyspepsia, Epilepsy, Leprosy, and Albinism; because all these faults and diseases are transmitted to the offspring.* Therefore both husband and
*A good example is given by Sir Alfred Garrod, who writes:- “A few years since, I was consulted by a gentleman laboring under a severe form of gout with chalk stones, and although not more than fifty years old, he had suffered from the disease for a long period. On inquiry, i ascertained that for upwards of four centuries the eldest son of the family had invariably been afflicted with gout when he came into possession of the family estate.” (Gout and Rheumatic Gout, by H.A. Garrod, M.D., F.R.S.) – (Marriage and Disease, by S.A. Strahan, P..) As to advice respecting marriage, it may at once be said that those already suffering from any form of tubercular disease should not marry. Neither should anyone marry a member of a family in whicn consumption or other form of tubercular disease is common. – (Marriage and Disease, by S.A. Strahan, p. ).
wife should come from good (physically, morally and intellectually) families.” MANU : .
*Epilepsy is, in fact, one of the most strongly hereditary of all diseases. In this respect, it is on a footing with the suicidal impulse, melancholia, drunkenness, and gout. Dr. Russell Renolds found heredity well marked in per cent of his cases, and says, ” I am therefore, led to believe that an hereditary tendency of epilepsy is much more common that it is generally represented to be by recent writers on the subject.” Echeverria said per cent of all cases coming under his notice were hereditary. Webster in England, and Esquirol in France, declared that a third of all cases of epilepsy depended on family taint, while Dr. Gowers, one of the greatest authorities on the subject, asserts that no less than per cent of all epilepsy has hereditary transmitted predisposition as a foundation.
I myself have records of consecutive cases of epilepsy, as they appeared for admission into an asylum for the insane. There were males and females. Of the males, per cent were members of families in which either epilepsy or insanity of some description had already appeared; of the females, per cent belonged to the same classes; while in of the total of both sexes there was positive evidence of hereditary taint. I would also remark that in a considerable number of my cases, no history of any kind could be obtained.- (Marriage and Disease, by S.A. Strahan, p – -)
“Let a man never marry one who is pale and anaemic, nor one who is altogether a bigger and stronger person than himself or has a redundant member,* nor one who is an invalid, nor one either with no hair or too much hair, nor one immoderately talkative, nor one with red*** eyes.” MANU : .
*All families in which diabetes occurs should be looked upon with suspicion, and should epilepsy, idiocy, insanity, or deaf-mutism also have appeared in the family, it is a very grave question whether marriage should be ventured upon. -(Marriage and disease, by S.A. Strahan, p.). **Here we do at times find cases to support the theory, but it is amongst those less grave characters which, while unmistakably marked, do not so rapidly go to extinction of the family that we must find our strongest proof, among such characters are hore-lip, cleft palate, club-foot squint, cataract supernumerary fingers or toes, color-blindness, premature baldness, or greyness, deaf-mutbifida, and the like; or on the other hand, where the characters physiological. Instances of repeated transmission of any or all of the above-mentioned characters can be found everywhere around, and , doubtless, cases will present to the mind of the reader.. -(Marriage and Disease, by Dr. S.A. .Strahan, p.).
A still more peculiar case was that of Edward Lambart, “the human porcupine”, as he was called; this man’s skin was covered by warty projections which were periodically moulted. He had six sons and two grandsons similarly affected, while the females of the family escaped; the two grandsons mentioned having seven sisters who were free from the peculiarity. (Dr.S.A. Strahan’s Marriage and Disease, p. ).
“In the village of Koshilovo (Grodno Government) there are over peasants who have more than usual number of fingers. According to interesting particulars published in the Novoe Vremye, they are all descendants of a peasant who married in the first half of the last century, and who had extra fingers on one of his hands. In the present generation this abnormality is reported to the extent of , , , and even additional fingers. Some cases simply show a thumb duplicated from the first joint. As the result of intermarriage the deformity is spreading to neighboring villages. It dispenses the young men from military service, however sound they may be constitutionally.” – (the Eugenics Review, London.). ***The word in the text is Bhura or brown. But I think this is not right. Very likely there has been a slip of the pen here. The word in the verse which has been translated into Bhura (brown) is Fingalaa which has been rendered into Pilaa or yellow in the author’s book called Sanskaar Vidhi. Here however, it seems that the word means red. -Tr.
“Nor one with the name of star,* of a tree,** or of a river,*** or of a mountain,**** nor one bearing a name denoting low origin,^ or servility,^^ nor one named after a bird,+ , a snake, ++ nor one whose name inspires terror.” MANU : . These names are despicable and belong to other things as well.+++
“Let him choose for his wife, a girl who has a graceful figure without any deformity, who has a pretty name, who walks gracefully like a swan or an elephant, who has fine hair and lovely teeth, and whose body is exquisitely soft.” MANU : .
~ What is the best time for marriage and which is the best form?
The best time and form of marriage
~ The best time for marriage, for a girl, is from the sixteenth to the twenty-fourth year of her life and for a man, from the twenty-fifth to the forty-eighth year. The marriage of a girl of sixteen to a man of twenty-five years is called Inferior marriage. Of a girl of eighteen or twenty with a man of thirty-five or forty is called medium marriage. Of a girl of twenty-four with a man of forty-eight is called superior marriage.
The best form of marriage is that by choice (Swayamvara), after the education of the contracting parties is finished and their Brahmacharya for the aforesaid period completed. Happy is the country wherein the people devote themselves to the pursuit of knowledge, live chaste lives, and adopt the aforesaid form of marriage. Down into the depths of misery sinks that country wherein the people do not practice Brahmacharya, nor acquire knowledge, where early
*As Ashvini, Rohni, etc. **As Rose, etc. ***Such as Ganges, etc. ****Himdlyd. ^Kali (Black), etc. ^^Chaandali (an outcast), etc. + Mend, Parrot, etc. ++ As Naagi (snake), etc. +++ The idea of the sage Manu seems to be that the people should not give ugly name to their children. -Tr.
marriage and marriage between the unsuitable, are prevalent, for, marriage preceded by the practice of Brahmacharya and perfection of knowledge is the basis of all true reform and the source of all true happiness; the reverse of it brings on the absolute ruin of people who follow it.
१.~Says Paraasara, the Law giver:- “A girl at the age of eight is called Gauree,* at nine, Rohinee,** at ten, Kanya,*** thereafter she is called Rajaswalaa.**** If she is not married before she becomes Rajaswalaa (i.e., till the tenth year), her father, , mother and elder brother, all of them shall go to hell.
1~ Says the Brahma Puraana (that has just been composed by us) “In one second after birth, a girl is called Gauree, in two seconds she becomes Rohinee, in three, Kanya, and thereafter Rajaswalaa. If she be not married till she become Rajaswalaa, her father, mother, brother, sister and maternal uncle, one and all shall go to hell.”
1~ The verses, you have quoted, are not authoritative.
~ Why are they not authoritative? If Brahma’s verses are not authoritative how could yours be?
~ Well! Well! Do you not hold even Parasaasara and Kashi Naath as authorities?
**Gauree means fair and is also the name of the wife of Mahaadeva one of the incarnations of the deity mentioned in the Puraana. **Rohinee means red, it is also the name of the wife of Vasudeva, a Puranic God. ***Kanya, a maid. **** One that mentruates. (This has been just composed by us).
A.~ Do you not hold Brahmaa an authority? Is Brahma not greater than Paraasara and Kaashi Naath? If you do not believe in Brahma, we reject your Paraasara and Kaashi Naath.
~Your quotation cannot be held authoritative, because it teaches an impossibility. One thousand seconds are taken in childbirth alone, how could a girl , then, be married when she is only one, two or three seconds old; nor can any good result from a marriage at such and impossible age.
~ If our verses convey an impossible meaning, so do yours; because a marriage even at the age of eight, nine, or ten years is useless, for it is only at the age of twenty-five year, that a man’s body is properly developed and the reproductive element perfected, and it is at the age of sixteen, that a woman’s body is strong enough and her reproductive organs sufficiently developed to bear good and healthy children.*
The reproduction of children in a girl of eight years is an impossibility. Besides naming girls, as, Gauree (fair) and Rohinee(red), is simply absurd, because a girl may be dark as well as fair. Again Gauree was the wife of Mahaadeva and Rohinee of Vasudeva, whom you Puranics (Hindus) regard as mothers. You imagine your girls as representing Gauree and Rohinee, how could you then be justified in marrying them to do so? How could it ever be in conformity with the dictates of true religion?
It follows, therefore, that both your verses and ours are absolutely wrong and devoid of authority. Just as we composed a few verses and palmed them off as Brahma’s, so have other people forged those verses and in order to stamp them with authority have passed them off as the
*In his book Sushruta, the great surgeon, Dhanwantri forbids sexual connection between persons who are under the aforesaid ages thus:- “If a girl under sixteen conceive of a man under twenty-five years, she very often miscarries but if she does not miscarry and the child is born at full time he does not live long, but if he does live long, he is nothing but a weakling; never should, therefore, a man have sexual intercourse with a girl of a very tender age.” SUSHRUTA Sutra sthana :, . The perusal of the principles (of Sexual Physiology) laid down in scientific books observation of the laws of nature and reasoning on this subject cannot but lead one to the irresistible conclusion that a man and a woman, under twenty-five and sixteen years respectively, are not fit for discharging reproductive functions. All those who violate the above principles come to grief.
writings of Paraasara and other sages. It is best, therefore, to reject all these so-called authorities and recognize the Veda alone as the proper authority in all matters and set accordingly.
“It is better that men and women should remain single till death rather than marry unsuitables; i.e., persons of mutually unsuitable qualities, characteristics and temperaments should never marry each other.” MANU :
Says Manu:- “Let a maid wait for three years after she has begun to menstruate and then let her choose for herself a husband, who is her equal.” MANU :. A girl menstruates once a month and, therefore, it is after she has menstruated thirty-six times in three years that she becomes marriageable but not before.
All this goes to prove that it is not right or proper that marriages before aforesaid period, or of unsuitables, should ever take place.
1~Should marriage be under the control of parents or the contracting parties themselves?
~ It is best that it should be under the control of the contracting parties. Even if parents ever think of arranging a match, it should, under no circumstances, ever be done without the consent of the parties for when people choose their partners for life themselves, there is less likelihood of mutual disagreement and the children born of such a union are also of a superior order.
There is nothing but trouble in store for those whose marriage is not of their own choice – they having been simply forced into it. The real factors in marriage are the bride and the bridegroom, and not their parents. It is they who will be happy if they agree well together and they alone will suffer if they disagree.
“In whatsoever family the husband is contented with his wife, and the wife with her husband, it is there and there only that happiness, wealth and honor dwell permanently.” MANU : . And wheresoever the husband and the wife disagree and squabble, there is nothing but misery, poverty, and disgrace.
The Swaymvara marriage, i.e., marriage by choice – the most ancient form of marriage in India – is the best form of marriage. Before a man and a maid think of marrying, they should see that they suit each other in point of knowledge and disposition, character, beauty, age, strength, family,* stature, and built of body and the like. Until they suit each other in all these things, no happiness can result from marriage. Nor can marriage in early life ever lead to any beneficial result.
“That man alone, who, after having taken the vows of Brahmacharya at the time of his initiation (Upnayana) into it and observed them strictly in student life, has perfected his knowledge, refined his character, and who is well-dressed and enters married life in the full bloom of youth is as if born again (in knowledge and wisdom).
He makes a name for himself and enjoys happiness. He is firm and courageous; his mind is centered on the increase of knowledge and attainment of wisdom. Men or learning and piety give him their helping hand to elevate him. He is thus honored amongst them. Those who marry without having previously practiced Brahmacharya and not acquired knowledge and culture, or who do so at an early age, are absolutely ruined, nor are they ever respected by the wise and the learned.” RIG VEDA :: .
*Vide where the list of families with whom no marriage connections should be formed is given. -Tr.
“Let girls, who are virgins, resembling cows that have never been milked before, who have passed the period of childhood and are about to leave single lives, are well-educated and cultured, fit to bear all the responsibilities of married life, and are in the full bloom of youth, who, by the practice of Brahmacharya, have reached a state of excellence and wisdom, which only those of great learning and high virtues can attain, marry husbands of mature age and bear children by them.” RIG VEDA :: .Never should they think of men even in their dreams in early life. This alone can give them happiness in this world and hereafter. Early marriage are more harmful to a woman than to a man.
“Just as men, quick on perception and action, energetic, in full youth, strong in body and capable of discharging reproductive functions marry maidens, who are young, dear to their hearts, and enjoy life to a good old age(a hundred years or more), and are well-blessed with children and grand-children, so should all men and women do. Since seasons, mornings and evenings, days and nights, all tend to take away the beauty and strength of the body and bring on old age, I (whether a man or a woman), should practice Brahmcharya, acquire knowledge, perfect my character, gain in strength of body and soul and attain full youth before I get married.” RIG VEDA :: . All those who violate these principles of marriage do so against the teachings of the Vedas, hence they never can be happy.
As long as in this country (India), sages and seers, emperors and kings and other people followed the aforesaid system of marriage by choice Swamvarvivah precede by a life of Bramacharya devoted to the acquisition of knowledge and culture and perfection of the body, it continually progressed and prospered. Since its inhabitants have neglected Brahmacharya and the pursuit of knowledge,
and have instead, taken to child-marriage – and that too under the control of the parents, – India has been steadily declining. It, therefore, behoves all good and sensible men to do away with this pernicious system, and introduce instead, marriage by choice in accordance with the divisions into Classes, (Varna Vyavasthaa which should be based on the qualifications, accomplishments and character of the individuals.
Marriage of the highest Class
O.~ He, whose parents are Brahmans, is a Brahman indeed. But can a person, whose parents are not Brahmans ever become a Braahman ( the highest class).
~ Yes. Many, in the past, have become Braahmans many in the present do and many in future, will. Here are some of the historical proofs. In the Chhaandogya Upnishad we read that the sage Javaal of an unknown Class became a Braahman. In the Mahaabhaarata, it is written that Vishwaamitra, Kshatriya (second class) became a Braahman, so did the sage Maatang an outcast by birth. Even at the present day, he who possesses the qualification, character and knowledge of a Braahman is respected as such and the ignorant are treated as Shoodraas (lowest class). So will it be in the future.
O.~ How can the body formed out of the reproductive elements – male and female – change in character and assume a new form suitable for another Class?
~ A man does not become a Braahman because his body was the product of the reproductive elements derived from the bodies of (Braahman parents). Says Manu, “The study of the true sciences, the practice of Brahmacharya, the performance of Homa, the acceptance of truth and rejection of untruth the dissemination of true knowledge leading a virtuous life as enjoined by the Veda, the performance of seasonal Homa, the reproduction of good children, faithful discharge of the five Great Daily Duties, and doing such other good works as are productive of beneficial results to the community, such as developing technical arts, association with the good and the learned, truthfulness in word, deed and thought, and devotion to public good and the like, all these things go to make a Braahman” MANU : .
Now do you not believe in this verse?
O.~Yes, I do.
~ Well, then, why do you believe that the division into Classes is based on the accident of birth?
O.~ It is not I alone who think so. There are many others who believe with me, it being the most ancient usage from time immemorial. Do you oppose even the most ancient customs?
~ No! But on account of your perverted understanding we do.
O.~How is it that our understanding you call perverted, whilst you think yours is rightly directed?
~ Simply because you call a usage, which is only six or seven generations old, as the most ancient custom, whilst we call that custom ancient which has been in vogue from the time of the revelation of the Veda or that of Creation of the world to the present day.
Do you not see in this world that good parents some-time get wicked children, and good children have wicked parents, at other time both are good or bad? Why cannot the Braahman children then become Shoodraas or vice-versa? You people are sunk in doubt and ignorance. See, what the great sage Manu says:- “Let children walk in the footsteps of their forefathers, but only if they be good, not otherwise; since by treading the path of good and pious men, no one ever comes to grief.” MANU : . Do you believe this?
O.~Yes, I do.
~ Besides, whatever has been revealed in the Veda by God is ancient, but whatsoever is opposed to it can never be called ancient. Should all people believe like this or not?
O.~Certainly they should.
A.~ He who refuses to believe in it should be asked. “If a person’s father be poor and he grows rich, should he therefore, through the pride of his father’s poverty, throw away his wealth? If a man’s father be blind, should his son also pluck his eyes out?
If a man’s father be of low character, should his son also do wicked deeds’? No, never. On the other hand, it behoves all men to imbibe their parents’ virtues only, not their vices. He who believes that one’s Class is determined by the accident of his birth, not by his own character, accomplishments and acquisitions, should be asked does he recognize a man as Braahman, even when he has left his Class and become an outcast, or has turned a Christian or a Muhammadan.
The only answer he can give is that he has left off the performance of duties required of a Braahman. It proves, therefore, that only those who faithfully discharge the high duties of a Braahman, can be called Braahmans. Even if a low-born man were to possess qualifications, accomplishments and character of a superior Class, he should be recognized as such; and if a man, high-born though he be, were to act like a man of an inferior Class, he should be relegated to it.
O.~The Yajur Veda says “Braahmans were born of His – God’s – mouth, Kshatriyaas, out of His arm, Vaishayaas, out of His thighs, and Shoodraas, out of His feet.” Now just as the mouth can never become an arm, nor can an arm become the mouth, so can never a Braahman become a Kshatriya, etc., nor, can the latter become the former.
~ Your translation of the aforesaid mantra is wrong. The word His has reference to the word Purusha , the Formless All-pervading Being, in the preceding mantra. Being Formless He could not have such organs as the mouth. Were He to possess these organs, He could never be Omnipresent, nor therefore Omnipotent, nor could He then create and sustain this universe and resolve it into the elementary condition, nor dispense justice to the souls according to their deeds good or bad, nor could He be Omniscient, Unborn, Immortal and the like.
The true meaning, therefore, of this mantra is that in this universe created and sustained by the Omnipresent God, he who is the (mukh) head, leader among men, is called a Braahman, he in whom power and strength (Baahu*) reside pre-eminently is a Kshatriya. He who travels about from place to place
*Baahu, verily is strength, verily Baahu is power.” Shatpatha Braahman.
for the purposes of trade, etc., and obtains all things (for the community) on the strength of his thighs (i.e. is the support of the community just as the thighs are that of the human body) is called a Vaishya, lastly a Shoodra is like feet, the lowermost part of the body, because he is ignorant.*
Other authorities translate this mantra in the same way; as for instances, the Shatapatha Braahman says, “These (Braahmans) are said to be born out of the head as they are the heads – leaders”. Just as the head is the highest organ in the body, so is that man the nobles and the best in the body of politic whose knowledge is perfect and whose acquisitions, accomplishments and character are of the highest order amongst men. He is, therefore, called a Braahman.
Besides, it is as impossible for anything to be born out of the mouth of God (Since being without a body, He has no mouth nor any other organ) as the marriage of the son of a barren woman. Had Braahmans been born out of the mouth of God, it being their material cause, their bodies ought to have been round, like the mouth, in shape. Likewise the bodies of Kshatriyaas, Vaishayaas, and Shoodraas ought to have been like arms, thighs and feet respectively in shape, but they are not so.
Besides, even supposing some were born in the manner you speak of, those who were born out of the mouth and other organs might have justly been entitled to be called Braahmans, etc., but not you who were born, like other men, out of your mother’s womb. Why should you then pride yourselves on being Braahmans when you did not come out of the mouth of God? We have proved, therefore, that you translation of the aforesaid mantra is wrong, whilst ours is right.
The sage Manu holds the same view. Says he ” “As the son of a Shoodraa may attain the rank of a Braahman if he were to possess his qualifications, character and accomplishments, and as the son of a Braahman may
*And therefore fit for menial service only.
become a Shoodraa, if he sinks to his level in his character, inclinations and manners even so must it be with him who springs from a Kshatriya; even so with him who is born of a Vaishya. In other words, a person should be ranked with the Class whose qualifications, accomplishments and character he possesses.” MANU : . It is written in the A’pastambha Sootraas that “A low Class man may, by leading a virtuous life, rise to the level of a higher Class man and he should be ranked as such. In like manner a high Class man can by leading a sinful life, sink down to the level of a Class low than his, and should be considered as such.” Apastambha Sootraas,
The same law applies to women in determining their Class.
By the application of this law, each Class, being comprised of individuals who possess all the qualifications that are necessary for admission into it, is kept in a stage of unadulterated purity, that is to say, no Kshatriya, Vaishya or Shoodraa is allowed to enter into or remain in the Braahmana Class. Similarly, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shoodraa Classes also remain unadulterated. In short, there can be no admixture of Classes, hence no class will be disgraced or become the subject of reproach in the public eye.
O.~Supposiing a family has only one child and that enters into a different Class, who will then look after the old folks? Besides, the family line will die out. How would you provide for such cases?
~ Neither will the old people be neglected nor will the family line come to an end, because the State – Political and Education Assemblies* – will provide them with children of their own Class in exchange for their own children, hence, there will be no confusions or chaos in the society.
Classes of all persons should be determined according to their qualifications, accomplishments and character in the twenty-fifth on the sixteenth year, according as they are males or females. They should also marry persons of their own Class, namely, A Braahman, a Braahman woman; Kshatriya a Kshatriya woman: A Vaishya, a Vaishya woman, and a Shoodra, a Shoodraa woman. It is then and then only that the people will faithfully discharge the duties of their respective Classes and secure, thereby, perfect harmony.
*See Chapter of this book for the composition and powers of these assemblies. – Tr.
QUALIFICATIONS AND DUTIES OF THE FOUR CLASSES
“Studying and teaching, performing , Yajna* and assisting others in doing it, giving alms, and receiving gifts – these six are duties of a Braahman.” MANU . But should be borne in mind that “The receiving of gifts is a mean thing.”
. “Restraining the mind from entertaining sinful thoughts.
. Keeping the senses from the pursuit of unrighteousness and directing them, instead, in the path of rectitude.
. Living a pure, chaste life by the practice of Brahmacharya.
. Attaining purity (of mind and body)**.
. Having firm faith in the power of truth and righteousness and being perfectly indifferent to the applause or censure of the world, pleasure or pain heat or cold, hunger or thirst, profit and or loss, honor or disgrace, and sorrow or joy, in the discharge of one’s duties.
. Cultivating tender heartedness, humility, straightforwardness and simplicity of character.
. Acquiring a profound knowledge of the Veda and other Shaastraas, attaining the ability to teach others, the power to discriminate between right and wrong, and the knowledge of all things (animate or inanimate) as they really are.
. Possessing a perfect knowledge of all entities – from earthly things to God – and
*Yajna is the application of the knowledge of the physical, chemical and physiological and the like properties of material substances and of psychological ones of mental substances. It, therefore, generally requires the association of men and objects. “The word Yajna which originally indicates any action requiring association of men and objects, productive of beneficial results is always translated by European Scholars, as sacrifice. The notion of sacrifice is a purely Christian notion and has no place in the Vedic philosophy. It is foreign to the genuine religion of India. Hence all translations in which the word sacrifice occurs are to rejected as fallacious.” – The terminology for the Vedaas and European Scholars.
** Manu says: “Water washes off the impurities of the body, truth exalts the mind, knowledge and strict devotion to duty elevate the soul and possession of ideas refines the intellect.”
the proper application thereof.
. Having perfect faith in the Veda,
. and salvation,
. belief in the past and future life of the soul,
. love of righteousness and knowledge and
. association with the good and the learned,
. always cheerfully serving the father, mother tutor, and the altruistic teachers of humanity and never maligning these.
These fifteen characteristics and accomplishments must be found in a person, before he or she can be called a Braahman or a Braahmani (female).” Bhagvat Gita.
. “To protect people by the administration of perfect justice without fear or favor, i.e., by showing due respect to the good and punishing the wicked.
. To spend money in furthering the cause of truth and justice and in advancing knowledge and serving the deserving.
. To perform Homa and other Yajnaas.
. To study the Veda and other Shaastraas
. To shun the allurements of sensual gratification by perfect control of the senses and thereby constantly augment the powers of the body and the soul.” MANU : .
. To be fearless in fighting with enemies though they be in thousands and he be single handed.
. To be bold, and dignified and fee from all weakness.
. To be firm of resolution and cool under difficulties.
. To be clever in the discharge of public duties and in the pursuit of studies and never to run away as to ensure victory.*
. To be liberal-minded.
. To be just in dealings with all and always to keep his word.” GITA.
These eleven are the duties and qualifications of a Kshatriya.
*If the field could be won by running away or putting the enemy on a false track or through stratagem, he should do so
. To keep herds of cattle, breed, improve and multiply them.
. To spend money, etc., in the advancement of knowledge and truth.
. To perform Yajnaas, such as Homa.
. To study the Veda and other Shaastraas
. To carry out businesses of all kinds.
. To lend or take money on interest. but interest should be such that the amount
of interest received or given should be less than double of capital even in hundred years.
. To cultivate land,.
These are the duties and qualifications of a Vaishya
“It behoves a Shoodraato earn his living by faithfully serving Braahmans, Kshatriyaas and Vaishyaas, without showing any disrespect, jealousy and conceit. This one thing alone is a Shoodraa’s duty and qualification.” MANU : .
The duties and qualifications of all the four Classes have thus briefly been described. All individuals should be placed in different Classes according to their qualifications, accomplishments and character. By adopting this system all will advance in every respect, because the higher Classes will be in constant fear of their children being degraded to the Shoodraa Class, if they are not properly educated. The same fear will also make the children acquire knowledge and culture. Whilst the lower Classes will be stimulated to excel themselves for admission into the Classes above them.
To recapitulate, the education of the community and the preaching of religion should be entrusted to Braahmaans, because they, being men of profound learning and exemplary character, can discharge those duties most satisfactory. By entrusting the affairs of the State to Kshatriyas, a country never suffers through misrule or mismanagement.
Tending the cattle, business, etc., should be entrusted to Vaishyaas, as they can do this work properly. A Shoodraa is to do menial service, because being ignorant through lack of education, he is fit for nothing higher, but can minister to the physical requirements of the community.
It is the duty of the ruler and other responsible persons to see that all the four Classes discharge their duties faithfully.
CHARACTERISTICS OF MARRIAGE
Marriage is of kinds:-
. Paishaacha.MANU :: .
. Brahma.~ The marriage, by mutual consent, of two such persons as have, through the regular practice of Brahmacharya acquired perfect knowledge, righteousness, and culture, is called Brahma.
. Deva.~ The giving away of a beautifully dressed daughter (by her father), to one, who officiates at a great Yajna, is called Deva.
. A’rsha is that kind of marriage, solemnized in lieu of consideration received from the bridegroom.
. Praajaapatya is the marriage relation into which both parties enter with sole object of furthering the cause of righteousness.
. .A’sura is a form of marriage solemnized after both the bride and the bridegroom have been bribed.
. Gaandharva is the reciprocal (sexual) congress of a youth and a maiden with a mutual desire proceeding from lust, in which (all social) laws have been utterly disregarded.
. Raakhsasa is the forcible or fraudulent abduction of a maiden from her home.
. Paishaacha is the forcible deduction of a girl, while she is sleeping, intoxicated or disordered in intellect.
Of all these kinds of marriage, Brahma is the best, Deva and Praajaapatya are middling quality, A’rhsa, A’sura and Ghaandharva of inferior quality, Raakhssa is base, whilst Paishaacha is the lowest and most wicked.
It should be borne in mind that the bride and the bridegroom should not before marriage be allowed to meet each other in retirement, since, such a meeting of young people may lead to bad consequences.
When boys and girls become of a marriageable age, in other words, when only one year or six months are left in the completion of their Brahmacharya and education, let the photographs or picture of boys be sent to the teachers of Girls’ schools, and those of girls, to those of Boys’ schools.
Let the teachers then send for the diaries** of those who are alike in outward appearance, and study them carefully. When they find any two students (one male and the other female), resemble each other in disposition, temperament, character, and accomplishments, and consider them suited to each other for marriage, let them place the photo and the diary of one in the hands of the other, and ask them to inform them of their intention (i.e., whether they would care to marry each other or not).
If they be quite willing to marry each other, let the Return home ceremony of both be performed simultaneously. They should be allowed to converse with each other or hold a discussion (on any subject to test each other’s knowledge and ability) in the presence of their tutors, parents and other respectable people.
Whatever questions or answers, on any confidential subjects, one would like to put, or give to the other, should be done in writing before the assembly. As soon as they feel that their love for each other is strong enough to entitle them to marry and have, consequently, made up their minds to do so, the very best arrangement should be made with regard to their diet so that their bodies, that had weakened through the practice of rigid
**These diaries should be kept even since children are born, first by parents, and then by tutors when they have left home and joined their schools. In these books should be recorded whatever the parents and tutors have noticed in their children or pupils with regard to their dispositions, temperaments, general behavior, habits, character, physical ailments, as manifested in sport, everything in connection with the development of their bodies and gradual unfolding of their minds.-Tr
discipline and hard life of Brahmacharya, and strict devotion to studies, may soon, gain in muscles and strength just as the new moon grows into the full moon. Afterwards, on the day, the bride has ceased to menstruate and taken her bath of purification, let a Vedi be made and a pavilion erected* and Homa performed with clarified butter and odoriferous substances, etc. Let the bride and the bridegroom invite learned men and women on this occasion and honor them properly.
Let them then do all that is necessary, for the occasion in accordance with the directions given in our book called the Sanskaara Vidhi, on the day which has been previously decided upon for the purpose of generating a new life and most cheerfully go through the ceremony of joining hands before all, and finish the whole marriage ceremony by midnight or ten pm and retire.
Let the husband follow the proper method of discharging semen and the wife that of drawing it up. As far as possible, they should never waste their reproductive elements perfected and preserved by the practice of Brahmacharya, because, the children born of the union of such reproductive elements (male and female) are of a very superior order.
When during the act of sexual intercourse the semen is about to be discharged, let them be quite still, let the nose of one be quite opposite to that of the other, and the eyes of one to those of the other and so on; in other words, their bodies should be straight, and their minds perfectly happy. Their bodies should not bend one way or the other.
Let the husband relax his body, and the wife, as soon as the semen enters her vagina, draw up her breath, pull together her genitals and draw up the semen, so that it finally rest in the uterus.** an enlightened woman will know at that very moment if she has conceived.
In any case non- appearance of menses at the end of the month will make it clear to all if conception has taken place. Let them both then have a bath in clean water. Let them take as much milk as they desire,*** and go to sleep in their respective beds. This plan should be followed whenever they wish to generate a new life. When after one month the menses do not appear, and they are consequently
*Should the bride and the bridegroom care to have their marriage celebrated in the presence of their tutors, let it be done there (i.e., in the seminary), otherwise the house of the bride’s parents is the proper place for it. ** This is a very delicate subject. It would not be proper to dwell on it any further. These few remarks should suffice to suggest all that may be necessary. *** It should be first boiled with dry ginger, saffron, cardamom and then cooled down before it is taken.
convinced that conception has taken place, the husband should not approach his wife for one year, for, by following this advice, a child of a very superior order is born and the children that follow are also as good as the first-born; whilst on the other hand, by violating this law the reproductive element is uselessly lost, the lives of the husband and the wife are shortened and they are afflicted with diverse diseases. But they should, by no means, cease to treat each other most lovingly.
Let the husband preserve his reproductive element and the wife take care of her child in utero. They should conduct themselves in the matter of diet and dress in such a manner that the husband may not lose his reproductive element even in sleep, while the body of the child in utero is well nourished and grows in beauty, loveliness, strength and energy, and the child is born. in the tenth month.
The wife should particularly take care of herself from the forth month but more particularly from the eighth month. She should never use purgatives, dry, non-nutritious articles, intoxicants and other substances that are prejudicial to the growth of intellect and physical strength. On the other hand she should use such articles of food and drink as good rice, wheat, lentils and other pulses, clarified butter, and milk.
She should also vary her diet intelligently according to the climate of the locality (she lives in) and the season of the year.* There are two Sanskaars to be performed during conception, viz., one in the fourth month called Punsavana** and the other in the eighth called Simantonayana.*** These should be performed in a fitting manner.
After birth of child the mother and her child should be most carefully looked after. About inches from the navel the cord should be tied with a stout but soft ligature, and then cut off in front of it. It should be tied in such a manner that not a drop of blood escapes from the child’s body. The mother and the child should then be given a bath with warm and scented water. The room should be well cleansed and Homa performed with clarified butter and odoriferous substances. The father should, then, utter “thy name is Veda” in the right ear of the child and dip a gold pencil in a mixture of honey and
*Shunthipaaka and Saubhagya Shunthipaaka should be kept ready before hand for use (These preparations are considered as highly invigorating to the system). Such nutritious substances as milk and butter, and condiments and medicine as ginger enter into their composition.-Tr. **/*** The object of these Sanskaars is to influence the physical and mental development of the child by publicly directing the woman to carry out certain instructions in relation to her physical and intellectual well-being. Be it noted that this is the most impressionable period during pregnancy.-Tr.
clarified butter and write (the syllable ) Aum on its tongue, and let it also lick a little of this mixture off the pencil, and then hand over the child to its mother. Let her suckle it if it be inclined to take the breast. If there be no milk in its mother’s breast let it be suckled by some other woman who has been thoroughly examined (as to her general health, the quality and quantity of her milk, etc.).
Let the child and its mother be then moved to another clean, capacious and well-ventilated room wherein they should be kept, and Homa performed with clarified butter and odoriferous substances daily, morning and evening. Let the child be suckled for the first six-days by its mother who should be fed on a variety of light and nourishing foods. She should also have her private parts seen to.
On the sixth day let the lying-in-woman leave her room and engage a wet-nurse for her child. The wet-nurse should be fed on good and wholesome foods and drinks. She should suckle the child as well as nurse it. The mother should keep a watchful eye over her child so that it is not neglected in any way. Let her also apply some plaster over her breasts in order to check the flow of milk. She should also diet herself properly.
Let the parents of the child perform the Naming ceremony and other Sanskaars in due course of time. When the wife menstruates again and takes her bath of purification, let them both (i.e., her husband as well as herself) follow the plan of generating a new life that has been set forth above
The sage Manu says on the subject:- “He that is contented with his own wife and avoids conjugal embraces on the eight forbidden nights and is .Ritugaami* is a Brahmachari a married man though he be.” MANU :
“Wherever the husband is quite contented with his wife, and the wife with her husband, in that family alone all prosperity, fortune and happiness perpetually dwell. And wherever they disagree and squabble there poverty, ill-fortune and misery are assuredly permanent.” MANU “.
*i.e., follows the plan of generating a new life as has been laid down. -Tr.
“Certainly if the wife do not love and please her husband, being unhappy he will not be sexually excited, and, consequently no offspring will be produced. But even if the children are born, they are very wicked and of a low type.” MANU : .
“If the husband does not please his wife, she being unhappy, the whole family is unhappy and miserable; but if the wife be quite contended with her husband, the whole family enjoys felicity.” MANU : .
“Let women be always propitiated (worshipped) by their fathers and brothers, by their husbands and the brothers of their husbands, in other words, they should speak sweetly to them and provide them with good food, nice clothes and ornaments, and thereby keep them happy. Those who seek great prosperity and happiness should never inflict pain on women.” MANU : .
“Where women are honored (worshipped), in that family great men are born; but where they are not honored, there all acts are fruitless. Where women pass their days in misery and sorrow because of the misdeed (such as adultery) of their husbands that family soon entirely perishes, but where they are happy because of the good conduct of their husbands, the family continually prospers.” MANU : , .
“Let women, therefore, be always honored by being given presents of clothes and ornaments, and supplied with good food at festivals, jubilees and like occasions, and thereby made happy by those men who are desirous of wealth and prosperity.” MANU : . In these quotations the word worshipped, of course, means duly honored. Let the husband and the wife whenever they separate from or meet each other for the first time during the day or the night, greet each other with Namastay which means , I respect you.
“Let a woman attend to her household work most cheerfully and with great dexterity keep her utensils and apparel clean, her house tidy, her furniture free from dust, all eatables pure clean, and free from dirt. Let her never be lavish in expenditure. Let her cooking be done so nicely that the food may act on the system like a good medicine and keep away disease (bodily and mental). Let her keep a proper account of her (income and ) expenditure, and show it to her husband (if necessary), use her servants properly and see that nothing goes wrong in the house. MANU : .
“Let a man accept (the hand of) a good woman, precious stone of different kinds, knowledge, truth purity, gentle speech and various technical arts from all men and from all countries.” MANU : .
“Let a man utter what is true; but let him say what is pleasing, i.e. good for others. Let him not speak a disagreeable truth (e.g., let him never call a one-eyed man, one-eyed). Not to let him speak an agreeable falsehood. This is the Eternal Dharma (true conduct of life). Let him speak
kindly, i.e., what is good for others, but let him not maintain fruitless enmity and altercation with anyone.” MANU : -. Let him say what is good for another, even though it may offend him. In the Mahabhaarat the sage Vidur says: “In this world, O Dhritraashtra, there are many people who would say sweet things to please and flatter others; but rare is the man who would say or hear a truth which is unpleasant to his ears but really conducive to his good.” Mahaabhaarat, Udyoga Parva, Vidur Niti.
It behaves all good men to point out others faults and shortcomings to them directly in their presence and hear to their own from others). But the way with the wicked is that they talk of one’s merits in one’s presence, whilst they speak of his demerits behind his back. So long as a man does not know his defects from others or someone else tells him, he cannot get rid to them nor can he acquire good qualities. Let a man never speak ill of another. Detracting from one’s merits or as his merits, and of his demerits as demerits constitutes Nindaa or misrepresentation; whilst speaking of a man’s merits as his merits, and of his demerits as demerits constitutes Stuti, whilst untruthfulness in speech constitutes Nindaa.
“Let the husband and the wife daily read and recite the Veda and other Shaastraas that give increase of wisdom, teach the means of acquiring wealth, and promote their welfare. Let them also carefully revise what they had studied during their student life and teach the same. Since as far as a man thoroughly understands the Shaatraas, so far can his knowledge and wisdom advance, and so far his love for them grows.” MANU : , .
“Let him constantly perform the Five Great Daily Duties, viz., Brahmayajna, Devayajna, Balivaishwadevayajna, Pitriyajna and Atithiyajna, to the best of his power. Out of these five Yajnas we have already described the first two in the preceding chapter. To recapitulate:-
. Brahma Yajna. it comprises studying and teaching the Veda and other Shaatraas, morning and evening devotions and practice ofYoga.
. Devayajna. it comprises the feeding of fire with clarified butter and odoriferous substances, association with the learned and the good, cultivation of purity, truthfulness and similar other good qualities, and the advancement of knowledge. These two Yajnas should be performed daily (during the twilights).
“It is said in the Atharva Veda, “The Homa substances (such as clarified butter, musk, camphor, saffron) used in the morning homa keep the air pure and wholesome till the next morning, while those burnt in the evening Homa keep the air pure till the evening and thereby promote health, strength and intellect..” ATHARVA VEDA :: , .
“A Dwija should, therefore, perform his Sandhya upaasanaa(devotioins) and Agnihotra (Homa), daily at sunrise and sunset.” SHADYINSHA BRAHMANS : .
“He who neglects these two duties daily in the morning and in the evening, should be excluded from the society of Dwijaas, (the three upper classes of regenerates) in other words, he should be treated as a Shoodra.”MANU : .
The perfomance of Homa and Sandhya
O ~.Why should not Sandhyaa be performed three times a day?
A~. Day and night do not meet three times a day. Light and darkness meet but twice in a day, i.e., in the morning and in the evening. Should a man refuse to believe this and persist in midday, he should be asked to perform his Sandhyaa at midnight. Should he be willing to do so, let him also do it at the union of a prahara,* of an hour with an hour, of a minute with a minute, of second with a second. This he would find impossible to do.
Besides, not a single authority of any Shaastraa is to be found in support of this practice. Hence, it is right to perform Sandhya and Homa only twice a day, not three times . Time is no doubt divided in to three periods – past, the present, and the future, – but Sandhya has nothing to with this division.
. Pitriyajna consists in serving learned men, great teachers, scholars, one’s father, mother, old people, great men, and great yogis.
This Yajna is divided into parts:- .Shradhaa is derived from shrat – truth. That by which truth is accepted is called shradhaa whilst that which is done with Shradha; i.e., with the object of embracing truth, is called Shradha.
*A Prahara is equal to hours,-Tr.
. Tarpana is anything done to please one’s father, mother and other elders (who are alive). And make them happy.* Tarpana is again sub-divided into three parts:- A ~ Deva Tarpana. “We serve Brahma** and the like Devaas. We serve Brahma’s wife and the like Devis. We serve Brahma’s sons, disciples and the like. We serve Brahma’s companions and assistants.”
The Shatapatha Brahmmana says:- “Verily, the learned are Devaas.”
o Brahman is one who has mastered the four Vedaas, along with their subsidiary sciences. Even those who are a little less learned than a Brahma are called Devaas. the wives of a Brahma and other Devaas who are also learned men like their husbands, are called Devis.
o ~ Rishi Tarpana. This consists in serving and honoring learned men like Marichi, the great grandson of Braahmaa, who teaches boys, learned women, like the wives of Marichi and other great teachers, who teach girls, their learned sons, daughters and pupils , companions and assistants (who are also teachers).
o ~Pitri Tarpana consists in thoroughly satisfying Pitars by offering them most regularly good food, clothes, beautiful conveyances, etc.; in other words, it consists in lovingly serving them by doing everything in one’s power to keep their bodies healthy and their souls happy.
The following are the different kinds of Pitars:-
. A Somasada is one who is well-versed in the spiritual and physical sciences.
. An Agnishwaata is one who is well-versed in the science of Agni, i.e., heat, light, electricity and the like (forces).
*It should be borne in mind that this yajna is meant for the living and not for the dead.** Since Brahma was the first man to master all the four Vedas, this word has come to mean master of the four Vedas. It is title like Vyaasa, literally diameter and therefore, one whose intellect has penetrated the subtle meaning of the Vedas.
. A Barhishad is one who is engaged in advancing knowledge and doing other useful works.
. A Somapaa is one who is the guardian of health and strength, who uses essences of powerful herbs, etc., and thus frees himself as well as others from disease. In other words he is a doctor.
. A Havirbhuja is a learned man who lives on foods and drinks other than meat and spirituous liquors.
. An A’jypa is one who protects highly useful objects, and eats and drinks butter, milk, and the like articles.
. Sukalina is one who employs his time in furthering the cause of truth and righteousness.
. A Yama, ( a judge) is one who administers justice and thereby protects the good and punishes the wicked.
. A Pitaa (father) is one who provides food for his children, honors and protects them. He is also the author of their being.
. Pitaamahaa – Grandfather.
. Maataa (mother) is one who honors her children by giving them food and doing other useful things for them.
. Pitaamahi– the mother of one’s father.
. Prapitaa mahi – the grandmother of one’s father.
. Sister and other relations.
. People of the same stock of bearing the same surname, and other old men and women.
. Vaishwadeva Yajna, consists of three parts:-
o When the meal is ready, let the householder take all kinds of cooked food other than sour, salt and alkaline, such as contain sugar, butter and milk, fetch fire out of the hearth, and throw oblations of the food into it reciting the mantraas beginning with Om Agnaye Swaha all the while. The sage Manu holds the same view. “Let a Dwija perform Homa in the (kitchen) fire with whatever has been cooked in the kitchen for the purpose of purifying its air in the following manner.” MANU : .
o Let him place some food on a (ordinary) plate or leaf-plate after reciting each of the specific Mantraas in all directions of the compass beginning with the east. Let this food be offered to an atithi, and in his absence thrown into the fire.
o Then let him place salt food, such as pulses, rice, vegetables and bread in parts (on a plate) on the ground reciting the specific mantraas at the time. Here is an authority from Manu for this act.
“Let him gently place on the ground some food for dogs, fallen wretches, outcasts, those afflicted with terrible diseases ( such as lepers), birds ( as crows), insects (as ants.”) MANU : .
Let him the give this food to one who is hungry, distressed, diseased, or to dogs, crows and other such creatures. The object of performing Homa is to purify the kitchen air, whilst that of offering food is to atone for the unintentional injury done to various living creatures.
. ~ Atithi Yajna. An Atithi is one whose date of coming is not certain or fixed. Whenever a Sanyaasi, who is virtuous and a preacher of truth, itinerates for the good of all, is a perfect scholar, is a Yogi of the highest order, happens to visit a house-holder let him offer him water to wash his feet and face, and to sip, and then offer a comfortable seat respectfully, give him good food and drink and other good things (such as clothes), and thus serve him most diligently and make quite comfortable.
Then let him benefit himself by his good company by learning such things in Physical and Spiritual Science, and would help him in acquiring virtue, wealth (worldly possessions), in gratifying legitimate desires, and obtaining salvation. Let him conduct himself in accordance with his good advice. On suitable occasions, even a house-holder and a king can be honored as atithis, but
“Let him never honor even by a greeting those that revile the Vedaas or conduct themselves against their teachings, those that lead anti-Vedic lives, tell lies, practice frauds and live like cats, [Just as cats hide themselves and keep staring at rats and then in a moment pounce upon them, kill them and fill their stomachs; likewise are such men as gain their selfish ends by lying, cheating and acting in other ways like cats. They are, therefore, called cat-like] those that are obstinate, stubborn and vain, do not know anything themselves nor would they follow the advice of another, (i.e., those who follow the dong-in-the-manger policy,) those that are sophists and talk
nonsense like the Vedaantists of the present day who declare that they are Brahma, the world is a delusion, the Vedaas and Shaastraas and even God are fictitious and spin similar other yarns, those that live like herons (Just as a heron stands quietly on one leg as if in deep meditation but really keeps a watchful eye on some fish all the time to whose life it soon puts an end , and thereby accomplishes its selfish end, so do the Vairaagees and Khaakis of today who are very stubborn, obstinate and enemies of the Veda, such men are, therefore, called heron-like).” Such men if honored multiply, increase sin and unrighteousness in the world, they not only do such works as to bring about their own degradation but also sink their followers to the lowest depths of ignorance and misery.
FIVE GREAT DAILY DUTIES
The uses of these Great Daily Duties (Yajnas) are:-
. Brahmayajna is the cause of advancement in knowledge, culture, righteousness and refinement of manners, etc.
. Agnihotra causes the purification of air, rain and water, and thereby conduces to the happiness of the world. The use of pure air for respiration, pure water, and pure food promotes health, strength, energy and intellect, which in their turn help men to acquire virtue, wealth, gratify (righteous) desires, and attain salvation. Since Agnihotra purifies the air, water, etc., it is also called Devayajna.
. Pitri Yajna. –
. The service of father , mother , other learned persons and great souls, leads to the increase of knowledge and wisdom which help a man to discriminate between Right and Wrong. The acceptance of what is right and the rejection of what is wrong makes him happy. It is also right to serve our father, mother, tutor, in return of the services they rendered us while we were young. The faithful performance of this Yajna saves us from the charge of ingratitude.
. Balivaishwadeva Yajna. Its uses are the same as have been mentioned before. [Briefly speaking, they are as follows:
. Purification of the kitchen air.
. The discharge of our obligations towards the sick, the needy, the fallen and towards those faithful and useful animals and birds, etc. which are dependent on us for sustenance.
. It is also a kind of atonement for the pain and suffering we unknowingly inflict on the lower creation in the daily routine of our lives. -Tr]
. Atithi Yajna
. As long as there are no atithis of the highest order in this world, progress cannot be made.
. as they go about in all countries (of the world), teaching and preaching truth, no hypocritical and fraudulent practices can flourish.
. The house-holders can also easily attain true spiritual knowledge in all places.
. One religion prevails among all men.
. Unless there are atithis, doubts cannot be dispelled, and without the removal of doubts, there can be no firm faith. How can then there be any happiness without firm faith?
“Let a man wake up early in the morning at (about A.M.), having relieved the necessities of nature (and taken a bath), let him think upon the means of acquiring virtue and wealth, and upon the causation of his bodily diseases (if any) and contemplate God.” MANU : .
He should never lead an unrighteous life. Unrighteousness practiced in this world does not go unpunished, nor does it immediately produce its fruit. This is the reason why the ignorant do not fear sin, but it must be borne in mind that the practice of unrighteousness advancing slowly cuts off the very root of your happiness.” MANU : .
The worker of iniquity crosses the bounds of righteousness just as water in a tank breaks as under its banks and runs in all directions,
so does he, through the practice of untruthfulness, deceit, and fraud, in other words through transgressing the commandments of the Vedas that are true guardians (of human happiness), and through hypocrisy, take possession of other people’s wealth and property, and prospers for a while, next with this wealth he obtains nice foods and drinks, good clothes, jewelry, houses and carriages, and wins social position and fame, even conquers his enemies through foul means, but at last he soon perishes like a tree whose root has been cut off.”
Let a learned man always honestly instruct his pupils in the ways of truthfulness and righteousness, as taught by the Veda (viz., freedom from prejudice and partiality, the practice of truth and justice, and the rejection of untruth) and in nobility of character and purity.” MANU : .
“Let him never quarrel or wrangle with one who officiates at a Yajna, with a teacher of truth and unrighteousness, with a maternal uncle, an atithi and a dependent., with children, sages and sick men, with a doctor of medicine, with people springing from the same paternal stock or belonging to the same Class as he, connects by marriage (such as a father-in-law) and friends, with his wife, and his daughter, and with his servants.” MANU : , .
A Dwija, one who does not practice Tapaas such as the practice of Brahmacharya, truthfulness, one who dos not study (the Veda), one who is eager to accept gifts from others; these three sink into the greatest depths of misery and pain on account of their wicked deeds, just as he who attempts to
cross an ocean in a boat made of stone sinks down” MANU : They no doubt sink but they also carry the donors down with them, for, “Wealth although earned by righteous means, given to the aforesaid three, ruins the donor in this very life, and the recipient in the next.” MANU : .
“As he who attempts to cross the water in a boat of stone, sinks to the bottom, even so an ignorant donor and an ignorant donee sink low; in other words are afflicted with misery and pain.” MANU :
CHARACTERISTICS OF IMPOSTER
Imposters should neither be trusted nor served. They are of the following types:-
Dharmadwaji, (Literally one who displays the flag of virtue, is one who does not practice any virtue, but defrauds others in the name of virtue. MANU : .
Sadaalubdha – a covetous wretch.
Chhadmika is a deceitful person.
(Lokadambhaka is) one who brags of his greatness before others.
Hinsra is one who does injury to living creatures or bears malice to others.
Sarvaabhisandhaka is one who mixes with all kinds of men – good or bad – such a person should be considered a rogue and a mean fellow like a cat.
Adhodrishti is one who always looks down (whilst walking) in order to be considered a very virtuous person.
Naishkritika is one who is of a cruel, vindictive nature, even ready to take one’s life, if one has happened to do him a slight injury in order to revenge himself. MANU : .
Swaartha Saadhantatpara is one who is solely intent on attaining his selfish end, even by fraud, injustice, and hypocrisy.
Shatha is one who persists in his obstinacy even though he knows he is in the wrong.
Mithia Viniti is one who is falsely demure and puts on a saintly appearance (to deceive) others. He should be considered a low wretch like a heron.
It therefore, behoves all me and women “to accumulate virtue by degrees for obtaining happiness in the next world by giving pain to no living creature, just as the white ant gradually raises its hill.” For, “in the next world, neither father, nor mother nor wife, nor sons, nor relations, can befriend anyone. Virtue alone helps him there. Single is each soul born; single it dies; single it enjoys the reward of its virtue – happiness; single it suffers the consequence of its sin – pain.” MANU : – .
It should be borne in mind. “A man commits a sin and thereby obtains something which he brings home, where all his family members enjoy it, but they do not suffer the consequences of his sin, it is he alone, who committed the sin, that reaps the consequences thereof.” MAHABHAARAT PAAJAGAR PARVA.
“When a man dies, his relations leave his corpse like a lump of clay on the ground, and retire with averted faces.. No one accompanies him. It is (his) virtue alone that bears his company.” MANU : .
“let a man, therefore, continually practice virtue for the sake of securing happiness in the next world, since it is through the help of virtue* alone that the soul can cross the ocean of misery and sorrow so hard to cross. A man who regards, virtue alone as the highest thing (in the world), and whose sins have been destroyed through the practice of righteousness, attains to that All-glorious Being whose body is A’kaash ~ the most Beautiful Supreme Spirit ~ by virtue of Dharma alone.” MANU : , .
He who is preserving, gentle in disposition, subjugates passions, shuns the company of cruel and wicked men, injures no sentient creature, lives a virtuous life, keeps his mind under thorough control, bestows on others the gift of knowledge, etc., attains happiness.” MANU : *The word which I have translated into virtue, is Dharma. I have already noted that this word is most difficult to translate. No single word in the English language can express its manifold meaning. Sometimes, I have translated it into virtue, sometimes into justice, at other times into truth etc. Briefly, it is the practice of truth, justice and righteousness, devotion to duty, freedom from hatred, malice and anger, etc., and love towards all living creatures. Its ten characteristics will be described in the next Chapter. ~ Tr.
“But it should also be borne in mind that ” All things have their nature ascertained by speech; in speech they have their basis and from speech they proceed; consequently he that falsifies his speech is guilty of theft and like sins.” MANU : .
“Let a man, therefore, always avoid sins, such as untruthfulness in speech, and practice virtue, since through virtuous conduct, in other words, the practice of Brahmacharya and subjugation of passion, etc., he obtains long life, through virtuous conduct good offspring, through virtuous conduct imperishable wealth, virtuous conduct destroys all vices. For a man of bad character sinks to contempt in the eyes of all good men, is afflicted with misery, suffers from diverse diseases, and is short-lived.” MANU : , .
“Whatever act depends on another, that let him studiously avoid but whatever act depends upon himself, that let him diligently pursue.” MANU : .
Because “Dependence is pain, whilst independence is happiness. Let him know this to be the brief definition of happiness and pain.” MANU : .
But whatever is (in its very nature) dependent upon both should be done with each other’s approval, because the relation between the husband and his wife is such that they cannot be independent of each other, in other words, they should treat each other most lovingly and live harmoniously. They should never quarrel with each other, nor commit adultery. The wife, subject to her husband’s control, should be supreme in the house, whilst all
affairs other than those relating to the household should be under the control of the husband. They should prevent each other from contracting vices, in other words, it should be borne in mind that after marriage, the husband and the wife entirely belong to each other, that is, their hearts, their feelings and their bodies from top to toe (reproductive-elements and all included), become subject to each other’s control.
Let them never do anything against each other’s wish. Of all things likely to upset their happy relations, the worst are adultery and fornication, etc. Let them avoid these. Let the husband always remain contented with his wife, and the wife with her husband. If they belong to the Brahman Class, let the husband teach boys, and his wife, if she be well-educated, teach girls.
Let them make them learned by preaching and lecturing to them on various subjects. The husband is the adorable God for the wife, and the wife is the adorable goddess for the husband. As long as boys and girls remain in their respective seminaries, let them look upon their teachers as their parents, whilst the teacher should consider their pupils as their children.
Qualifications of Teachers (male and female)
“He alone is a wise man, who is never idle nor lazy, nor affected by pleasure or pain, profit or loss, honor or dishonor, public applause or censure, has always a firm faith in Dharma, and cannot be tempted by sensual object.” MAHAABHAARAT VIDURPRAJAAGAR, .
To practice virtue and avoid sin, abstain from speaking ill of God, of the Vedas, and of righteous living, have unbounded faith in God, verily these are the duties of a wise man. The first qualification of a wise man is that he should be able to grasp the most abstruse subject in a very short time, should devote years of his life to the study of the Shaastras (true sciences) and thinking over them, apply his knowledge for the good of others, never do anything for his selfish gain, should not give his opinion unasked or interrupt another in his speech.
“He alone is a wise scholar who does not desire for the unattainable, nor broods over his losses nor loses his head in misfortune.
He alone is a wise scholar who is well-versed in all kinds of knowledge, is a very clever debater, can speak on any subject, is a good logician, has a good memory, can easily give a true exposition of the Shaastras.
Verily he alone is entitled to be called a wise man whose intellectual up-building is in conformity with truth (as he knows it), who hears the Shaastras read that are in harmony with reason, who never steps beyond the bounds of good, righteous men.
Wherever such teachers male and female exist, knowledge, righteousness, and good conduct advance and thereby continually increases.
Characteristics of undesirable teachers and fools
“He who has neither read a Shaastra, nor heard it read, is extremely vain, builds castles in the air though poor, wishes to obtain things without any exertion on his part, is called a fool by the wise.” MAHAABHAARAT VIDURPRAJAAGAR .
He who enter an assembly or another man’s house uninvited and occupies a seat above his rank, jabbers a great deal without being asked (to speak), is very credulous -i.e. trusts the untrustworthy or believes that ought not to be believed, is verily a fool and the lowest of the low.
Wherever such men occupy the positions of teachers, preachers, and preceptors, and are honored, there ignorance, unrighteousness, bad manners, discord, strife and disunion grow and thereby misery and sorrow increase.
VICES OF STUDENTS
“Physical mental inertia, use of intoxicants, infatuation, idle gossip, neglect of studies, vanity, and want of Brahmacharya, these seven vices are to found among students.” MAHAABHARAT VIDURPRAJAAGAR, . Such students can never acquire knowledge.
How can a pleasure-hunter acquire knowledge? And how can a student enjoy sensuous pleasures (and yet acquire learning)? Let a pleasure-hunter bid farewell to knowledge and let a seeker after knowledge bid farewell to sensuous pleasure; since without doing this, no man can ever acquire knowledge.
QUALIFICATIONS OF GOOD STUDENTS
They alone who practice virtue, subjugate their passions and never lose their reproductive element, are true Brahmacharis and become learned men.” MAHAABHARAT VIDURNITI.
It follows, therefore, that the teachers and students should possess excellent qualities. The teachers should so endeavor as to produce in their scholars such good qualities as truthfulness in word, deed and thought, culture, self-control, gentleness of disposition, perfect development of mind and body, so that they may become well-versed in the Vedas and Shaastras. the teachers should always be diligent in eradicating the evil habits of their scholars and in imparting knowledge. The scholars should always cultivate
self-control, mental tranquility, love for their tutors, thoughtfulness and habits of diligence. They should so exert themselves as to acquire perfect knowledge, perfect Dharma, perfect development of body (to enable them to live to the fullest age allotted to man), and learn to labor. Such are the duties of Brahmans The duties of Kshatriyaas will be described in the chapter on Government.
The duties of Vaishyaas are to learn the languages of various countries, the methods of different trades, the (current) prices or rates (of different articles) the art of buying and selling, to travel in different countries (for the purposes of trade, etc.,, engage in profitable business, rear cattle and other animals, improve agriculture, augment wealth and spend it for the advancement of knowledge and Dharma, to be truthful in speech and free from hypocrisy, conduct business with honesty, and look after all things in such a way that nothing is wasted or lost.
The duties of a Shudra are to be clever in all kinds of manual* service, expert in cooking, to serve the twice-born with love, and make his livelihood by it. The twice-born should provide him with board and lodging, clothes and pay all the expenses of his marriage, etc., or pay him a monthly salary. All the four Classes should work harmoniously and be of one mind in doing public good and promoting righteousness, and share each other’s joys and sorrows, pleasure and pain and further the good of their country and of their people with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all the material resources at their command.
The husband and the wife should never live apart from each other, since the “use of animal food and intoxicants such as spirituous liquors, association with the wicked, separation from the husband, wandering about uselessly by herself from place to place with object of visiting so-called saintly persons (who are all really imposters), sleeping and dwelling in another man’s house (through wantonness) are the six vices that are apt to contaminate a woman’s character.” MANU : . These very vices contaminate a man’s character as well.
*This is what erroneously called menial service. ~ Tr.
Two kinds of separation of spouse
Separation between the husband and the wife is of two kinds: Firstly, that caused by one of the parties going abroad on business and , secondly, that caused by the death of one of them. Separation of the first kind can be avoided if the husband takes his wife along with him whenever he goes abroad. The object of this injunction is that the husband and the wife should not live apart from each other for long.
~Should a man or a woman marry more than once?
A ~ Not when the other party is alive.
Q ~Can one party re-marry when the other is dead?
~ Yes. Says the sage Manu on this subject. ” A man or a woman, who has simply gone through the ceremony of joining hands* but whose marriage has not been consummated, is entitled to re-marry.” MANU :
But re-marriage is absolutely prohibited in the case of a twice born man or woman (i.e., one belonging to a Brahman, Kshatriya or Vaishya Class who has had sexual intercourse with his or her consort.
~What are the evils of re-marriage** (in the case of such persons)?
~ The following are the principal evils:-
Diminution of love between the husband and the wife, since either of them can desert the other whenever he or she so desires, and marry another person.***
On the death of one party, the other will take away the property of his or her deceased consort when he or she marries again. This will give rise to family disputes.
If a widow re marries, many a noble family will be blotted out of existence, and its property destroyed (by constant alienation).
*Joining hands is the chief element in the Vedic ceremony of marriage. ** Re-marriage includes Polygamy and Polyandry. ***This arrangement seems to apply to marriage after divorce. ~ Tr.
Re-marriage involves loss of true conjugal love and infraction of duty towards the departed husband or wife.
For these reasons, re-marriage, polygamy and polyandry are prohibited in the case of the twice born.
~ If one of the parties dies leaving no male issue, even then the family line will become extinct. Besides, if re-marriage be not allowed, the widows and widowers will resort to adultery and fornication, procure abortion, and will commit wicked deeds of a kindred nature. For these reasons re-marriage is desirable.
~ No. If the widows and widowers desire to practice Brahmacharya, no such evil consequences will accrue. Again, if the widow or widower adopts a boy of her and his Class, the family line will be continued and there will be no danger of adultery being restored to. Those, however, who cannot control their passions may beget children by having recourse to Niyoga.
The difference of re-marriage and Niyoga
~ What are the differences between re-marriage and Niyoga?A. ~
. After marriage the bride leaves her paternal roof, lives with her husband, and her relations with her father’s family cease to be closed; on the contrary. The widow (in case she contracts Niyoga) continues to live in her deceased husband’s house.
. The children begotten of marriage inherit the property of their mother’s husband, whereas, offspring begotten of Niyoga on a widow are not regarded as children of the begetter and consequently they don’t take his surname, nor can they be claimed by him. They are spoken of as the children of their mother’s deceased husband, take his surname, inherit his property and live in his house.
. Married people are required to serve and help each other, while those that contract Niyoga have to abandon all relations (after the stipulated period).
. the relation of marriage is life-long, while the contract of Niyoga ceases to be operative after the desired object has been attained.
. The husband and the wife help each other in the performance of their house hold duties, while those that have contracted Niyoga discharge the duties of their respective households.
~ Do the same laws apply to Niyoga and marriage, or are they different in each case?
~ They are little different. A few differences have already been enumerated, and here are some more:-
A married couple can produce children up to the limit of ten, while that connected by Niyoga cannot produce more than two or four.
Jus as marriage is allowed only in the case of a bachelor and a maid, likewise only a widow and a widower can enter into the relation of Niyoga, but never a bachelor and a maid.
A married couple always lives together but not that connected by Niyoga. Such persons should come together only when they intend to generate a new life. Whether Niyoga is contracted for the benefit of the widow or of the widower, the relation is dissolved after the second conception.
Let the widow rear the children for two or three years and hand them to her husband by Niyoga, in case it has been entered into for his behalf. In this way a widow can give birth to two children for herself and two for each of the four husbands by Niyoga. Similarly a widower can beget two children for himself and two for each of the four wives by Niyoga. Thus ten children in all can be produced by means of Niyoga.
This is what the Veda declares:- “O thou who art fit to procreate and art strong, do thou raise upon the married wife or upon these widows, with whom thou hast contracted Niyoga, good children, and make them happy. Do thou beget with on thy married wife ten children, and consider her the eleventh (member
of the family). O woman! Let ten children be raised on thee by the married husband or thy husbands by Niyoga and do thou consider thy husband as the eleventh (member of thy family).” Rig Veda : , .
The Vedic injunction requires that among Braahmannas, Kshatriyaas and Vaishyaas a couple should in no case produce more than ten children, other wise the offspring are sure to be weak, both physically and intellectually, and short-lived. Even such parents grow feeble, do not live long, are afflicted with disease and consequently endure untold sufferings.
~ But Niyoga looks like adultery.
A.~ Just as sexual connection between persons that are not married is called adultery, so is sexual congress between widows and widowers not connected by Niyoga is an adulterous relation. From this it follows that just as marriage solemnized according to the law is not fornication, even so Niyoga contracted according to the law cannot be termed fornication.
If one’s virgin daughter co-habits with a bachelor after the marriage ceremony, enjoined by the Shaastras, has been duly performed, this act is not regarded as adulterous or sinful, nor does it inspire shame, for the same reasons, Niyoga performed according to the Vedic injunction should not be regarded sinful, nor should it inspire a feeling of shame.
~ This is alright but it looks like prostitution.
~ No. A prostitute sticks to no particular man, nor is she governed in her sexual relation by any specific laws, while Niyoga marriage is governed by definite laws.. Just as one does not feel any shame in giving away his daughter in marriage to another person, in like manner there ought to be no shame in contracting Niyoga. People who are given to illicit intercourse do not give up this wicked habit even after marriage.
~ To us it seems that Niyoga is a sinful practice.
~ If you think that Niyoga is sinful, why don’t you regard marriage also as sinful? The sin rather consists in preventing people from contracting Niyoga, for according to the Divine laws of Nature, natural appetites cannot be controlled unless one be self-abnegating, profoundly learned, and a Yogi of the highest order. Don’t you consider it a sin to procure abortion, destroy the fetus and inflict great mental suffering on widows and widowers (by preventing them from contracting Niyoga). For, so long as they areyoung, desire for children and sexual enjoyment will drive people to the necessity of forming secret relations, if the laws of State or Society disallow lawful gratification. The only proper way of preventing adultery and illicit intimacies is to let those, who can control their passions, do without Niyoga or even marriage, but those who do not possess so much self-restraint must marry, and in case of emergency contract Niyoga, so that the chances of illicit intercourse may be greatly minimized, love between the husband and the wife enhanced, and consequently good children born, the human race improved, and the practice of feticide put a stop to.
Marriage and Niyoga will do away with such wicked practices as illicit intimacy between a low Class man and a High class woman, or between a High class man and a Low Class woman (such as a public woman), contamination of noble families, extinction of the family line, mental anguish of bachelors and maids, of widows and widowers, feticide and the like crimes. For these reasons, contraction of Niyoga is desirable.
~ What conditions should be observed in the performance of the Niyoga ceremony?
. Niyoga is solemnized publicly even as marriage is.
. Just as in marriage, the consent of the bride and the bridegroom and approval of good men are essential, even so it is in Niyoga, in other words, when a man and a woman have agreed to contract Niyoga, they should declare before an assembly of their male and female relations that they enter into the relation of Niyoga for begetting children, they will have sexual congress for generating anew life once a month, in case conception takes place they will not co-habit for one year. If they should go against that declaration they should be considered sinners and should be liable to punishment by the State and the Society.
~Should the relation of Niyoga be entered into with a member of one’s own Class or with that of a different Class as well?
~ A woman should contract Niyoga with a member of one’s own Class or with that of a higher Class, that is, a Vaishaya woman with a Braahman, a Kshatriya or aVaishaya; a Kshatriya woman with Kshatriya or a Braahman; a Brahman woman with a Braahman. The object of this is that the spermatic fluid should always be of a man of the same Class as the woman or of a higher Class, never
of a lower one. The object (of God) in creating man and woman is that they should produce children in accordance with the dictates of true religion as enjoined by the Veda.
~ Why should a man contract Niyoga when he can marry again?
~ We have already said that according to the injunctions of the Veda and the Shaastra among the twice-born a man or a woman may marry only once, never a second time. Justice demands that a bachelor, should be married to a virgin. It is unjust and therefore wrong for a widower to marry a virgin, and for a widow to marry a bachelor. Just as a bachelor does not like to marry a widow, so no virgin would like to marry a widower. If no virgin will marry a widower, and no bachelor will marry a widow, men and women will feel the necessity of contracting Niyoga. Moreover, dharma consists in mating likes alone.
~ are there any Vedic and Shaastric authorities in favor of Niyoga, as there are in support of the marriage institution?
~ “O man and woman (connected by Niyoga), just as a widow, co-habits with her husband by Niyoga and produces children for him, and a wife co-habits with her husband by marriage and produces children for him, likewise (it may be asked) where both of you were during the day and during the night, and where you slept, who you are, and what your native place is.” RIG VEDA : , .
This indicates that man and wife should always live together whether at home or abroad, and that a widow may also take unto herself a husband by Niyoga and obtain children, even as a virgin takes unto herself, a husband by marriage, who raises upon her.*
*Q. ~ Supposing the deceased husband of a widow had no younger brother, with whom should she contract Niyoga?
~ With her devar, but the word devar does not mean what you think. For the Nirukta says “The second husband by Niyoga of a widow, be he the younger borther of her deceased husband or his elder brother, or of a man of her won Class or of a higher Class, is called Devar.
“O widow! Do thou give up thinking of thy deceased husband and choose another from among living men. But thou must understand and remember that if thou should contract Niyoga for the benefit of thy second husband with whom thou are united by performing the ceremony of joining hands, the child resulting from this union shall belong to him; but if thou interest into relation of Niyoga for thy benefit, the child shall be thine. Do thou bear this in mind. Let thy husband by Niyoga also follow this law.” RIG VEDA ,.
“Do thou O woman that givest no pain to thy husband or devar (husband by Niyoga), art kind to animals in this Order of householders, walk assiduously in the path of righteousness and justice, art well-versed in all the shaastraas, hast children and grandchildren, givest birth to valiant the brave boys, desirest a second husband (by Niyoga), and bestoweth happiness on all, accept a man of thy choice as thy husband or devar , and always perform the Homa which is the duty of every householder.” ATHARVA VEDA :, , .
The sage Manu also sanctions the marriage of virgin widows. Says he “A virgin widow may marry the younger or the elder brother of her deceased husband.” MANU.
~ How many times can a man or woman enter into the relation of Niyoga? What are the husbands, by marriage or by Niyoga, of a woman, called?
~ “O woman! Thy first husband with whom thou art united by marriage is named Soma, called so because he was a chaste bachelor (before marriage). Thy second husband with whom thou art connected by Niyoga is named Gaandharva, called so because he had already lived with another woman (to whom he had been united by marriage). Thy third husband, (by Niyoga) is named Agni (fire), called so because he so very passionate. All thy other husbands from the fourth to the eleventh are called men.”
A man may also contract Niyoga with eleven women (one after the other), just as a woman may enter into the relation of Niyoga with eleven men (one after the other), as sanctioned by the Veda in the following text:-
“…….take unto thyself the eleventh husband by Niyoga.” RIG VEDA : , .
~ Why should not the word eleven be taken to refer to ten sons and the husband as the eleventh (member of the family)?
~ Such an interpretation will not even sanction a second husband and therefore go against such Shaatric injunctions as have been quoted above (We reproduce some of them here).
“Just as a widow takes into herself a devar, etc.” “The second husband by Niyoga of a widow, etc.” “So thou O woman that givest no pain to…..devar (husband by Niyoga)”, etc. “Thy second husband…is named Gaandharva.”
The sage Manu also declares:-
“on failure of issue (by her deceased husband), a widow may contract Niyoga with a widower (if both of them be desirous of getting children), who may be her deceased husband’s younger or elder brother or his cousin within the sixth degree or a man of her Class or of a higher Class.
An elder brother, who approaches the wife of the younger, and a younger brother, who approaches the wife of the elder, when the necessity of getting children has ceased to operate, even though united by Niyoga, shall be degraded (from their Class). In other words, Niyoga lasts only so long as two or four children are not born according as it has been contracted for the benefit of one of the parties, or of both. They should not approach each other after this. In this way ten children may be produced by successive Niyogas.
Sexual congress after this is regarded as proceeding from lust. Hence, those who resort to it are degraded (from their Class). Even if married people co-habit with each other after they have produced ten children, they are considered lustful and held in great contempt, because marriage and Niyoga are entered into for the object of getting children but not for the gratification of passions like animals.
~ Can a woman contract Niyoga only after the death of her husband or even when he is alive?
~ This relation can be entered into even in the lifetime of the husband (or of the wife). Here is Vedic text in support of this view.
“When a man is incapable of producing children, let him address his wife as follows:- O thou that art desirous of getting children do not expect me to raise offspring upon thee. Do thou, therefore, seek another husband.” RIG VEDA : , . The woman seeking to contract Niyoga, should, however, continue to serve her husband by marriage; similarly when a woman on account of some chronic disease is rendered incapable of bearing children, let her address the following words to her husband. “My lord! Do not expect me to bear any children. Do thou, therefore, contract Niyoga with a widow.” Here are some historical proofs as well in support of this doctrine:-
Kunti and Maadri, wives of king Pandu had recourse to Niyoga. Vyas, on the death of his brothers, Chidraangad and Vichitravirya
contracted Niyoga with their wives and begot Dhritraashtra on Ambikaa, Paandu on Ambaalika and Vidur on a Shoodra woman.
The sage Manu declares:- “If a husband has gone abroad in furtherance of some righteous cause, let his wife wait for eight years; if for the acquisition of knowledge and glory, for six years; if for the pursuit of material ends, for three years. If after the expiry of the prescribed periods he does not turn up, she may contract Niyoga and obtain children.” MANU : .
Should the husband (by marriage) return, the contract of Niyoga shall become null and void. Similarly it is enjoined in case of the husband that ” if the wife be sterile, let the husband wait for eight years after marriage; if all of her children die, for ten years, if she bears only daughters and no sons, for eleven years, if she be a termagant, let him forsake her immediately, and enter into Niyoga with another lady and beget children upon her.” MANU : .
Likewise if the husband be very cruel, let his wife forsake him, and bear children by Niyoga who will succeed to the property of her husband by marriage.
All these authorities and arguments go to prove that it is the duty of each man to preserve and perpetuate his family line and thereby improve the race by means of Swayamvar Vivah – marriage by choice – and Niyoga.
“Just as an Aurasa, a son born of marriage, is entitled to inherit the property of his father, so is a Kshestrajna – a son born of Niyoga.” MANU.
Men and women should always bear in mind that the (male or female) reproductive element is invaluable. Whosoever wastes this invaluable fluid in illicit intercourse with other people’s wives, prostitutes, or lewd men, is the greatest fool, because even a farmer or a gardener, ignorant though he be, does not sow the seed in a field or a garden that is not his own. When it is true in the case of an ordinary seed and of an ignorant peasant, why should not that waste the wise human see of sowing the best of all seeds in an undesirable soil He should be regarded as the greatest fool, since he does not reap the fruit thereof. It is written in the Braahman Granth, “A son is part of his father’s self.” The Saama Veda also declares:- “O son! Thou art sprung out of my spermatic fluid which is drawn from all the bodily organs and from the heart. Thou art, therefore, my own self. Mayest thou never die before me. Mayest thou live for a hundred years.” SAAMA VEDA. It is a sin of the deepest dye to sow the seed, out of which great souls and distinguished men have sprung, in a bad soil (such as a prostitute) or to let a good soil be impregnated with a bad seed.
~ What is the good of the institution of marriage? This relation restricts the liberty of people and entails great suffering on them. Therefore it is desirable that a couple should continue to live as man and wife as long as they love each other, and separate when they are tired of each other.
~ This is what beast and birds do. It does not become men to act like this. If the institution of marriage did not exist, all the amenities of domestic life would come to an end. None will serve another. Downright adultery and illicit connections will increase, all men and women will be afflicted with disease, physically and mentally, and will consequently die young, no one will fear another or be controlled by public opinion. Families upon families will be blotted out of existence in consequence of disease, physical and mental degeneration and premature death due to downright adultery and fornication.
No one will have a title to succeed to another’s property, nor will any person be able to retain possession of anything for any great length of time. All these evils can be best avoided by marriage.
Q.~ Monogamy being the rule (i.e., if one man be allowed to have only one wife, and one woman only one husband) what will a person do, if the wife be encienti ir afflicted with some chronic disease, or if the husband be a valetudinarian and either of them cannot control himself or herself on account of extreme youth?
~ We have answered this objection while treating of Niyoga. If a man be not able to control his passions while his wife and she is pregnant, he may contract Niyoga with a (widow) and beget offspring on her, but let him never misconduct himself with a prostitute or commit adultery. Let a man, as far as possible, desire for what he has not got, preserve what he has got, try to increase what he has preserved, and spend it in doing good to his country.
Let every man perform the duties of his Class and Order, as set forth above, most faithfully, assiduously and zealously, and apply himself heart and soul for the attainment of righteous ends, and expend his wealth in the pursuit thereof. Let him diligently serve his father, mother, father-in-law, and mother-in-law, and maintain loving relations with friends, neighbors, the king, learned and holy men.
Let him treat the unrighteous and the wicked with disregard, in other words, bear them no malice and endeavor to reform them. Let him ungrudgingly spend his wealth in securing for his children the benefits of wide culture and liberal education, and try his best to make them perfect scholars and men of culture. Let him do righteous deeds, and thereby try to attain salvation so that he may enjoy eternal (extreme) bliss.
Verses like the following should never be regarded as authoritative. [“Even a degraded twice-born man is superior to Shudra who has conquered his lower self, just as a cow that does not yield milk is worthy of worship, a she-donkey is not worshipped even though she yields milk. The following are prohibited in Kaliyuga (iron age) :-
. Horse sacrifice.
. Cow sacrifice.
. Initiation into Sanyaas (the Order of Renunciation).
. Offering flesh balls in a ceremony relating to the manes.
. Raising of issue on a widow by her husband (by Niyoga)
The scriptures enjoin that a widow may take unto herself a second husband in the following cases:-
. If the husband has gone abroad and cannot be traced.
. If he be dead.
. If he has turned a Sanyasi
. If he be impotent
. If he be excommunicated.”]
The above verses are from the apocryphal Parashar Smriti. It is downright prejudice, sheer injustice, and a great sin to regard a wicked twice-born man better than a virtuous Shudra. If a cow, whether it yield milk or not, is cared for by the milkman, the she-donkey is equally an object of care for the potter.* Even the illustration is defective, since the twice-born man and the Shudra belong to the human species -bovine and asinine. Should even an illustration from the animal kingdom be partly applicable to human beings, this verse cannot be regarded as true by learned men, it being opposed to the reason.
Horse-sacrifice and cow-sacrifice not being enjoined by the Vedaas, their condemnation in the Kaliyuga (iron age) alone must surely be regarded as opposed to the Vedaas. If it is thought necessary to condemn these wicked practices in the Kaliyuga, it follows that they are permissible in the other three Yugas (viz., Golden, Silver, Bronze ages); but is absolutely impossible that such wicked practices should prevail during ages** when righteousness reigned supreme.
Again initiation into the Order of Sanyaas finds sanction in the Vedas and other Shaastras, therefore it is foolish to interdict it. If indulgence in flesh foods is interdicted (which it undoubtedly is), then the prohibition should apply equally to all ages. Why should the author of these verses be barking like a dog, i.e., indulging in puerile
*Donkeys are very often used by potters in India for carrying pottery from place to place. Tr. ** The period covered by Creation is called Brahmadina (God’s day), while the period covered by Dissolution is called Braahmaratri (God’s night): Brahmadina (God’s day) is divided into , Chaturyugis, each of which is again divided into Yugas or ages, these are:-
. Sat Yuga or Golden age = ,, years.
. Dwaapur Yuga or Silver age = ,, years
. Treta Yuga or Bronze age = , years
. Kaliyuga or Iron age = , years
The orthodox believe that these Yugas influence the conduct of the human race for good or for evil, hence they have given these Yugas the names of Golden, Silver, Bronze and Iron respectively. The author does not share this view. – Tr.
Nonsense, when Niyoga is clearly allowed by the Veda. If the husband has gone abroad and during his absence the wife contracts Niyoga, whose wife will she be regarded if the husband (by marriage) returns? It may be replied that she would belong by right to him who married her. This is perfectly right, but this provision is not laid down in the Paraashar Smritti. Are there only five occasions of emergencies on which a woman may find it necessary to have recourse to Niyoga? These occasions are more than five in number. Here are some others:-
Prolonged illness of the husband
Serious differences with the husband, etc.
The verses like these are, unworthy of belief.
~ Well sir! Have you no faith even in what the Parashar says:
~ Nothing that is opposed to the Vedas ought to be believed in, no matter who has taught it. Moreover, these are not the words of Parashar. People write books in the name of eminent men like Brahma, Vasishtha, Rama, Shiva, Vishnu and Devi so that these books, being stamped with the authority of universally esteemed great men and women, may be acceptable to the whole world, and the real authors and their successors) may be peculiarly benefited to a great extent.
It is for this reason that they write books replete with foolish and mythical stories. Among the Smrities, the Manu Smriti alone is authentic, the interpolated verses being excepted. What has been said about the Smrities applies with equal force to all apocryphal books.
~ Is the Order of householders the highest or the lowest of Orders?
~ Each of the orders is noble in its own place. Says Manu:- “Just as all rivers and rivulets meander till they find a resting place in the ocean, so do men of all Orders find protection with householders. The men of no Order can properly discharge their duties without the help of householders.” MANU : .
“A all living creatures subsist by receiving support from air, even so do the men of all Orders subsist by receiving support from the householder. Because men of the three other Orders – Brahamcharya, Vaanaprasth and Sanyaas – are daily supported by the house holder with gifts of food, etc., the Orders of householders is the most excellent Order, In other words, it is the pivot upon which the entire A’shram (Order) system rotates.”
MANU : .
The duties of this Order, which cannot be practiced by men who are cowardly and possess a poor physique, must be faithfully discharged by those who desire uninterrupted happiness in this world and imperishable bliss hereafter.” MANU :
All the concerns of life are, therefore, dependent on the Order of householders. If this Order did not exist, the human species would not be propagated, and consequently the Orders of Brahmacharya, Vaanaprasth and Sanyaas could not be called into existence. Whosoever speaks ill of this Order is himself worthy of contempt, but whosoever speaks well of it deserves all praise.
But be it remembered that this Order can be fruitful of happiness only when both the husband and the wife are contented with each other, are learned and energetic, and fully know their duties. The chief causes which contribute to the happiness of householders are Brahmacharya and marriage by choice of which we have already treated.
We have thus briefly discoursed on Return Home, Marriage and Married Life in this Chapter. We shall treat of the orders of Vanaprasth and Sanyaas in the next.
THE END OF CHAPTER FOUR