Daughters of India: From Surya to Jyoti by Harish Midha SignUp
Daughters of India: From Surya to Jyoti
Harish Midha Bookmark and Share

It is a far cry from the Vedic Age (c. 2000BC) to the present day India of the early 2nd millennium of AD era. Since we pride ourselves in maintaining a rare civilizational continuity, let us see how it plays out in our changing attitudes to womanhood.

Surya is the legendary bride in the Marriage Hymn of Rig Veda (RV X.85). Here is how she is blessed by Indra, chief of the vedic gods, on her bridal:

Over thy husband's father and thy husband's mother bear full sway.
Over the sister of thy lord, over his brothers rule supreme.
O’ Surya be an empress (samragyi) in your new home (RV X.85.46)

Fast forward the life and times of Rig Veda by 2000 years and we find Manusmriti, advising our women to be guided “soley” by the father until marriage, obeying and serving her husband when married, and in the event of widowhood to seek advice of her son (s). The vedic woman, who was empowered to rule in her “household” according to our vedic ritas (cosmic laws), thus becomes the ruled!

Another 2000 years, and the downward slide continues with “women” becoming objects to be admired, used and possessed by men. Living in Toronto, Canada I was able to watch BBC’s documentary titled India’s Daughter. I admired its focus on the attitudinal causes behind one of the most painful incidents of recent times. It is a documentary to reflect and should be a subject of “chintan”.

Proud of my vedic heritage, l see hope in the Emerging India to reverse this downward slide. We belong to a culture, where our most popular prayer about godhood starts with “tvameva maat’aa ...”. Even the common salutations used by our folks put the lady first e.g. Jai Sia Ram, Radhey Sham. With these cultural values ingrained in us over thousands of years, we have a sound set of human beings that can be changed around if led by a trust worthy leader with a vision.

Surya and Jyoti essentially have the same meaning - a source of light. Thanks to the continual usage of vedic hymn (s) of Marriage during our weddings, Surya has lived on. Let Jyoti’s life which was snuffed out most brutally in India’s capital on a wintery night of 2012 start an awakening that will restore our forgotten traditions and values. Let it become a synonym of change - jyoti se jyoti jalaate chalo!

Will it be too much to ask Narendra bhai, our Indra of the Day, to include “Rape Free India” as a part of his Swatch Bharat abhiyan!

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Comment Thanks Raghavan for for your comment of March 15th. Here is the exact transliteration of the verse X.83.46 of Rig Veda from the hymn titled Surya's Bridal: SAMRAGYI SHRAVASHUSHRE BHAV, SAMRAGYI SHRAVASHRAVAN' BHAV NANOD'RI SAMRAGYI BHAV, SAMRAGYI ADHI DEVRISHU. Rig is the fountain head of our culture and traditions and thanks to internet, we can now access it now in Sanskrit, English as well as many of other languages! Harish Midha, Toronto, March 16, 2015

03/16/2015 08:50 AM

Comment Harish, Thanks for the post. Your quote from Rig Veda is an eye opener. I am sure that not many (including me) have been aware of this.

ksrblogs (Raghavan)
03/15/2015 01:04 AM

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