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Varadpande is an eminent scholar and theatre historian in India. Known for his erudition and profound insights, he is the author of several well-known books. Love in Ancient India M. According to Apastamba Grhyasutra , an ancient Hindu literature, Gandharva marriage is a method of marriage where the woman chooses her own husband.

They meet each other of their own accord, consent to live together, and their relationship is consummated in copulation born of passion. This form of marriage did not require consent of parents or anyone else.

According to Vedic texts, this is one of earliest and common forms of marriage in Rig Vedic times. In Rig vedic opinions and classical literature, the commonly described marriage method was Gandharva, where the bride and the groom had met each other in their ordinary village life, or in various other places such as regional festivals and fairs, begun to enjoy each other's company, and decided to be together.

This free choice and mutual attraction were generally approved by their kinsmen.

Sunny Sunday morning in Delhi

A passage in the Atharvaveda suggests that parents usually left the daughter free in selection of her lover and directly encouraged her in being forward in love-affairs. The mother of the girl thought of the time when the daughter's developed youth Pativedanam , post-puberty , that she would win a husband for herself, it was a smooth and happy sort of affair with nothing scandalous and unnatural about it.

May Oh Agni! As this comfortable cave Oh Indra! Do thou ascend the full, inexhaustible ship of fortune to bring hither to this woman the suitor who shall be agreeable to thee.

Did You Know Love Marriages & Live-In Relationships Were Totally Cool In Ancient India?

Bring hither by thy shouts Oh lord of wealth! Turn thou the attention of every agreeable suitor to her. Gandharva marriage over time became controversial, disputed and debated.

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Majority of ancient scholars discouraged it on religious and moral grounds. Such a marriage, argued these ancient vedic scholars, may or may not be lasting. Manu argued that Gandharva marriage may be suited for some, but not for most; he argues Gandharva marriage is best suited for males who are warriors, serving in the military, administrators, nobility and rulers Kshatriyas. In the end, Bimala realizes her mistake, and innerly rejects the nationalist shakti - only too late to avoid tragedy.

Love in Ancient India. A Comparison with Dante, Cavalcanti and Andrew the Chaplain

Tagore's morale is that Indian identity and the richness of Indian civilization are bound to perish because of the amoral use of physical power as commanded by intellectual abstractions and the mindless exaltation of Mother India. As is well known, in the kaavya love is unhesitatingly defined as the most important of life's experiences and as an essentially aesthetic one. Moreover, it is explicitly stated that this experience is best described and understood by means of typical female characters, or naayikaa s.

Thus woman, neglected and despised in almost every other area of the Indian literary tradition, in the kaavya becomes the object of the poet's worship and the pivot of his Weltanschauung, as he describes the charm, by turns delightful and disturbing, that she exerts on her lovers. But it also often happens that a poetical anthology is subdivided into monothematic sections: for instance, 'earthly wisdom', 'love', 'grief', 'spiritual peace', and so on.

Gandharva marriage

A strange fact about these anthologies is that these various themes are juxtaposed without being synthesised to reflect a consistent hierarchy of values. Therefore, after a section in which the love of women seems to be the unique source of bliss, we find another in which women are despised and condemned as an obstacle to renunciation. In these sections, exactly as in religious, ethical, and legal texts, woman is not herself, but the embodiment of the abstract idea of "womanliness", in which , not surprisingly, the stereotyped vices of ungovernable temper and lustfulness are predominant.

Schmidt's German translation is the only other into a European language , can be read as both a paean of love, and a glorification of renunciation.

Khajuraho - The Temple of Love - Ancient Sculptures - Incredible India

This text is thus a unique masterpiece, which leads the reader simultaneously along two paths: the way of bhukti and the way of mukti. While the authorship and the date of these plays can be questioned, it seems very likely that they, or at least the large majority of them, were composed by the hand of one person. There are thirteen plays, a relatively large corpus, of varying lengths; and the main focus of the vast majority of the stories is either martial valor or love. The latter, love, is the central motivating factor of longest, most developed, and most famous of the plays.

Of particular interest in this cycle of plays is the prominent position that women play in a number of them, especially in those that focus on love. The paper will deal with the attitude to the female body in Indian thought and art, and it will offer a comparison between Indian sculpture and Ancient Greek sculpture. It is a traditional but common misconception that a considerable number of Rgvedic hymns were composed by women. Though female authors and interlocutors are not entirely absent from the Vedas the role of 'literate' women in the Rgveda will have to be re-evaluated.