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question on 'sati'

From: sampath kumar (sampathkumar_2000_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Sun Nov 28 1999 - 21:54:36 PST

Dear members,

adiyen learns from newspaper report that even these
days, (in fact just a few weeks ago!) in parts of
India (like a village in UP, India) the practice of
"sati" (widow immolating herself on husband's funeral
pyre) is not uncommon.

Even as late as 17th century CE "sati" was widely
prevalent in India (more in the north than south, of
course). In the 10th to 14th century it might have
been quite common.

adiyen would like to learn from members if they know
of any reference in history to SriRamanujAchArya or
other SriVaishnava achAryAs (preceding or succeeding
him) having any known and public views on "sati" and
whether they came out for or against it. 

adiyen knows that the AzhwArs and Ramanuja were
insightful social commentators too in their own right.
They commented widely for example on a brahminical
society's severe treatment of "under-castes". They had
plenty to say against the empty "ritualisms" of
meemAmsakAs and the "dogmas" of advaitic orthodoxy.
But adiyen has not come across any references in
history or religious literature to their utterances on
the social practice of "sati".

Also adiyen would like to know if any of you have any
idea if "sati" in those days had Vedic basis or not.
Any pramANams?

Thanks,
dAsan,
Sampathkumaran
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