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The Women Seers

From: Vijay Srinivasan (Vijay_Srinivasan_at_praxair.com)
Date: Tue Jan 28 1997 - 08:48:44 PST

Dear Prapatti Group Members:

Continuing on the discussion and the interesting information brought out by 
Smt. Vasudha Narayanan on Sri Vaishnava Women, Rg. Veda mentions as many as 27 
rsikas (women rishis).  Some of them such as Aditi, Indrani, Sraddha, Medha , 
Ghosha, Godha.. may be familiar to some of you.  These women were also known as 
Brhmavadinis.  It is said that they were eligible for upanayana, vedadhyayana 
and Agni-Upasana.  Some of them were Rishi-Patnis also.  They had equal rights 
with their men in the performance of Yagnas. The Vedas say that one must 
consider the wife as the half of oneself. (Ardho va esha athmano yathpathni).  
The vedas also say that there is no Yagna without a wife.  (Ayajno va esa ya 
apathneekaha).  Therefore, it is not difficult to see why the rishis led the 
householder's life - which was essential for the performance of Yagas etc., for 
loka kalyana.

Seetha Piratti in her conversation with Ravana mentions the name of several 
rishi couples (Vasishta-Arundhathi..) who are regarded with veneration even 
today.

I would like to end this with an interesting anecdote.  When Bernard Shaw was 
asked:  Who is superior-a Man or a Woman.  His answer was:  Which Man and Which 
Woman.


Vijayaraghavan Srinivasan