Showing posts with label matrilineal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label matrilineal. Show all posts

Hinduism And Hindu Theology - Matriarchy In India


Throughout India's history, there have always been groups where women have played a significant role in society and where the goddess, rather than the deity, has taken precedence in religious systems. 

For example, among the aaktas, feminine divinity takes priority over male divinity, and the goddess is always mentioned first in dual forms of divine names, such as Lakshmi-Narayan, Gauri-aankar, and Radha-Krishna. 

Whatever their historicity, the many traditions of strirajya, or women-ruled republics, demonstrate that political governance by women was not impossible. 

  • The historic reign of queens, particularly in South India, would confirm this practice. 
  • Even in northern India, women's roles in society demonstrated that they were not always treated as second-class citizens. 
  • Descent was typically traced via the female line among the aakas, Kushans, Pahlavas, and other Central Asian peoples. 
  • The ancient Indians had a matrilineal system, and several tribes were named after women. The successors of Kadrii were the Kadraveya; the Vinateya of Vinata; the Daitya of Diti; and the Danavas of Danu. 
  • As in the instance of the rishi Satyakam a, the habit of adopting names after the mother may suggest that the father was unknown. 
  • In rare cases, such as among some Rajputs, it may hint to the maternal line's better pedigree, causing it to be retained. It usually denotes a matriarchal civilization. 
  • The Khasi of Assam's social structure is regarded as one of the most ideal instances of a matriarchal institution. 
  • The mother is the head of the family, the major tie of union, the property owner, and inheritance is passed down only via her. 

The Nairs of South India are another modern example, where a family consists of the women, their children, their brothers, and maternal uncles; and daughters, but not boys, pass on inheritance rights to their offspring. 

  • Women are the conduits for tracing relationships and ancestry. 
  • Polyandry, which allows a woman to have several husbands at the same time, is closely associated with matriarchy. 
  • This habit of two or more husbands sharing a common bride, who may or may not be brothers, was popular among non-Aryans, notably the Austrics, and was also seen among brahmins and rishis in ancient India. 

Polyandry is implied in the Atharva-veda texts that suggest a woman may marry even after having 10 husbands. 

  • Similarly, the Maruts' and Aavins' shared wives are mentioned in mythology. 
  • The ancient rishi clans' scions were said to be "bom of two dads" or "the sons of m any dads," and there are various allusions in Vedic literature to women having multiple spouses or being "given unto spouses." 
  • A verse in the Apastamba seems to allude to the tradition of marrying a girl to the whole family's male members. 
  • The 10 sons of the Vedic rishi Prachetas married a common bride, Marisha, daughter of Kandu. Gautami married seven rishis and served as a common wife to them. 
  • The lady who catches fish Satyavati had two children with one of her husbands, Santanu, and birthed the great sage Vyasa with another spouse. 
  • According to the Mahabharata, Jatila, the virtuous daughter of a Vedic rishi, married seven erudite brahmins. 
  • Varkshi, the daughter of a sage who married 10 brothers in the Mahabharata, is another example. In the Puranas, there is a narrative of the lovely Madhavi, who was queen to three distinct kings at the same time and gave boys to three distinct families before bearing a son to the sage Viàvamitra. 
  • Not satisfied with her performance, she convened a svayamvara and chose the king Haryaava as her spouse, with whom she fled into exile. 
  • The princess Kanha chose five spouses during her svayam vara and married them all, according to the Kunala Jataka. 
  • According to Sarkar, Sita was the common wife of Ram and Lakshmana in the ancient tradition. 
  • Of course, the marriage of the five Pandava brothers to the unrivaled Draupadi is the most famous example of this sort of polyandry. 
  • The Pandavas' origins are a mystery in and of themselves, since their father Pandu was forbidden by a curse from having sexual relations with his wives. 
  • One of his wives, Kunti, knew multiple "husbands" and had a kid bom with one of them before they married. 
  • Drupada was shocked by the Pandavas' polyandry and asked Yudhishthira about the peculiar tradition, which he described as "contrary to principle and morality." Yudhishthira answered, "It is beyond our capability to uncover the root of this conduct." We simply follow the classic and righteous road that our forefathers took. 

Polyandry is common among groups such as the Nairs, tribes such as the Todas, and other tiny societies. 

‘The habit of numerous brothers marrying just one lady is even more frequent in India today than is widely supposed, not just among non-Aryans, but even among brahmins,' says Dr. R. C. Majumdar.

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