The philosophy and world-view of the women of the Ṛg-veda I (MT19

Location: OCHS Library
Speaker: Prof. Mau Das Gupta
Date: October 24, 2019
Time: 2.00pm – 3.00pm

From an in-depth study of the hymns attributed to the women seers of the Ṛg-veda, one may accumulate some notions about their world-view, and what life exactly meant for them. It is evident from the literature of the Ṛg-veda that by no means women had been socially handicapped as they became in India during the middle ages. The fundamental expectations of Ṛg-vedic women were to get married, and to have a household of their own with a strong yet a loyal husband and a number of offspring. The intellectual women of the Ṛg-veda, perhaps, knew a life above the mere temporal necessities. This spiritual bend of mind, of a few women at least, is best reflected in the hymn of Āmbhṛṇī Vāc (ṚV 10.125). The seer, who experiences herself as free as the eternally blowing wind, hardly cares for a life-partner. On the contrary, she claims that whomsoever she desires, she herself makes him the priest, him alone the mighty and him the seer.

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.