The unmarried women of the Ṛg-vedic age longed primarily for conjugal love and the security provided by a heroic husband and a number of male offspring. This talk will focus on the literature of Apālā and Ghoṣā to understand the position of unmarried women in the Ṛg-vedic age. Both these women were afflicted with skin disease and remained unmarried in their father’s home. Apālā, the seer of ṚV 8.91, according to traditional sources, was infected with a cutaneous disease, which made it difficult for her to find a suitor. She was delighted when Indra drank soma-juice from her mouth.
Prof. Mau Das Gupta is Professor in Sanskrit at Calcutta University. She was awarded the prestigious Eashan Scholarship and the University gold medal along with many other prizes for her outstanding results in graduate and post-graduate examinations of the University of Calcutta. She did her PhD at Jadavpur University. She is an Associate Professor of Sanskrit in the University of Calcutta and was head, Department of Sanskrit till January 2016. A Vedic scholar, Das Gupta has interests in various other fields of literature. A poetess herself, she is also known for writing on various issues concerning Sanskrit and Bengali literature. She is a Sahitya Akademi Awardee (2015) for her translation of Hazari Prasad Dwivedi’s Anamdas ka Potha (2012) into Bengali.