Home | Ved

26-Widows in Ved

Previous | Next

26-Widows in Ved

Now-a-days we are witnessing more and more occurrences of inter-caste, inter-Jaati, inter-Varn, inter-faith, inter-religion and inter-racial marriages. We also witness widow remarriages. Some people consider it perfectly all right while others not. While some, if not all, the rituals connected with a Vaidik Vivaah be observed and hence they engage the services of a Vaidik Purohit for conducting the marriage with a few rituals. On such occasions Vaidik Mantra are being chanted. Our question is "Are we not insulting the Ved which prohibit such Vivaah? Are not the Purohit committing a sin when they officiate as priests in such marriages?"

Comment:-This is exactly the reason why it has been stressed that the rules have to keep pace with the modern society otherwise, they would lose their value. What was written thousands of years ago cannot simply be followed today. They need to be updated keeping the present conditions which were not foreseen by those who wrote those rules tens of centuries before. If such a revision is opposed simply because we want to remain stagnant, the basic principles would also be lost. If people are insulting the Ved and Purohit are committing sins by officiating in such marriages, is it advisable to stop all that are being followed and forget the traditions totally? However, even the old texts have some indication of their open mindedness. Let us see

what do the Dharm Shaaastra, the Ved, Upanishad and other texts on Sanaatan Dharm say about this?

Rig Ved
Rig Ved (10.40.5.) says,
kuhasviddoshA kuhavastOorashvinaa kuhaabhishittwam karatah kuhoshatuhu.
ko vaam shayutraa vidhaveda devar maryam na yoshA krnite saadastha Aa.

As per Sayana Bhaashya, a widow can take another husband after her husband's death. The man who marries a widow is not considered inferior to other men. Widow marriage is not forbidden.

Atharv Ved
Athar Vaed, 14.3.1
This Mantra lays down that a woman whose husband dies, should accept another person who can provide food, clothes and shelter and can also give good children.

Manu Smriti
Manu Smriti also provides a few Shlok giving the same view.
yaa patyaavaa parityaktaa vidhavaa vaa svayEchchayaa,
utpaadayeta punarbhootvaa sa sounarbhava uchyate,
saa chedakshata yosaaha syaata gata pattyaagataapi vaa,
pounrbhavena bhartyaa saa punah sanskaaramarhati.
It means, if the lady is either rejected by her husband or if he is dead, she should marry again.

Kaatyaayan Smriti says,
varayitaa tu yah kaschit pranashyet purushoyadaa.
rutvaagamaam streenateetya kanyaanyam varayedvaram.
That means the widow should marry three months after her husband's death.

Prajaapati Smriti also provides for the remarriage of young widows or for those ladies who are rejected by their husbands.
yadisaa baal vidhavaa balaat tyaktaa thavaa kwachit".

Mahaabhaarat, Van Parv, 70/24.
mentions that even when there is a doubt about the existence of the husband, his wife can remarry.
"Aasthhaasy ati punarbhymee damayantee svayamvaram,
tatra gachchanti raajaano raajaputraasch sarvashaha."

More clearly Mahaabhaarat, Van Parv, 70/26
sooryodaye dwiteeyam saabhartaaram varayishyati,
na hi sa jnaanayitee veero nalo jeevati vaa na raa".
Damayanti is going to marry the next morning. The doubt about the powerful Nal's existence is the reason for this decision.

One can find similar views in Mahaaabhaarat, Bheeshm Parv, 90 and 91 also.

A princess who is widowed 20 times marries 21 times as mentioned in Padm Puraan.


Home | Ved


Previous | Next

Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 03/20/13