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Polygamy and Hinduism

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  #11  
Old 14 July 2010, 07:03 PM
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Re: Polygamy and Hinduism

namaskar,

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Originally Posted by isavasya View Post
Polygamy is strictly banned for all Hindus.
You mean legally, right? I think there is something in Manu smriti that allows a man to marry again if his first wife cannot produce a son within the first ten years of their marriage. I remember reading it at one time in manu smriti but I don't let manu rule my life. Definitely if a man decides to do this he would have some legal challenges to deal with.
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  #12  
Old 14 July 2010, 07:48 PM
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Re: Polygamy and Hinduism

hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namast

what of draupadī ( also called kṛṣṇā draupadī ) ? She had 5 husbands, the pāṇḍavaḥ.


praṇām

1. dra+upa+dī dra = that which is free; some say this is rooted in drā to run here and there + upa = towards, near; also together with , at the same time with + dī = to shine forth; to be bright
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  #13  
Old 14 July 2010, 08:41 PM
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Re: Polygamy and Hinduism

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Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namast

what of draupadī ( also called kṛṣṇā draupadī ) ? She had 5 husbands, the pāṇḍavaḥ.


praṇām

1. dra+upa+dī dra = that which is free; some say this is rooted in drā to run here and there + upa = towards, near; also together with , at the same time with + dī = to shine forth; to be bright
Well, that was a unique case of taking a cultural idea too seriously. Apparently Mother's word meant law. And so when the Pandavas brought Draupadi home to present her to Kunti first they said something like 'guess what we have?' and Kunti replied 'Make sure you share it!' and for some reason she could not retract her statement so they all decided to share Draupadi.

Honestly though, if I were in a similar situation as Draupadi I would been quite happy with my five demigods
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Old 15 July 2010, 12:25 PM
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Re: Polygamy and Hinduism

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Originally Posted by Madhuri View Post
Honestly though, if I were in a similar situation as Draupadi I would have been quite happy with my five demigods
Am I to assume that performing wifely duties for five demigods would make you happy, and not worshiping them and establishing a spiritual link to them?

Hmmmmmmmmm..... Interesting thought!
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Old 15 July 2010, 01:26 PM
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Re: Polygamy and Hinduism

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Originally Posted by ScottMalaysia View Post
I know that Hindus today don't practice polygamy, but is this simply because of social customs influenced by the West, or are there later Scriptures which prohibit a man from having multiple wives?
Namaste Scott,

I apologize that you had a serious question and the forum chose to convert it into a joke and most people jumped in with a bunch of 'non-answers'. I did a search on your enquiry and this is what I came up with....

---------------------------------------------------------------
POLYGAMY IN VEDAS

1. There is no single mantra in the entire 4 Vedas that even give a hint of supporting more than one wife or more than one husband.
2. Three mantras of Rig Veda, 1.124.7, 4.3.2 and 10.71.4 contain “Jaayeva Patya Ushatee Suvaasaah”. This means that knowledge comes to the scholar in same manner as a dedicated joyous wife comes only to her husband. “Jaaya” means wife and “Pati” means husband. Both appearing in singular implies that only one husband-one wife relation is considered ideal.
3. Rigveda 1.3.3 states that God is like a dedicated wife with high character and purity. This also implies that monogamy alone is considered ideal.
4. Rigveda 10.149.4 compares love between God and devotee like that between dedicated wife and husband. Both “Jaaya” meaning wife and “Patim” meaning husband are used in singular number implying strict monogamy.
5. Rigveda 10.85.20 appeals a bride to expand happiness for her husband. Again both husband and wife are referred in singular.
6. Rigveda 10.85.23 appeals to wife and husband to always have self-control. Its obvious from reference to self-control and singular numbers for both wife and husband that monogamy alone is recommended.
7. All mantras relating to marriage are addressed in dual number to a couple of husband-wife implying one wife for husband and one husband for wife. Some examples are Rig Veda 10.85.24, 10.85.42, 10.85.47 and almost entire 14th Chapter of Atharva Veda which deals with subject of marriage. Most mantras pray for faithful relation for entire life-time.
Please note that Sanskrit has a dual number apart from singular and plural, specifically to remove this confusion that people may have.
8. In Atharva Veda 7.35.4 both husband and wife state that, “You establish me in your heart so that our minds become one and same.”
9. In Atharva Veda 7.38.4, wife says that “You should only be mine. You should not even discuss about other women.” What can be a more clear prohibition of polygamy than this!
10. Atharva Ved 3.30.2 and 14.2.64 also appeal husband and wife to be devoted and faithful to each other.
11. Perhaps Veda provider Ishwar knew that despite all this, some self-proclaimed experts may still find reasons to justify polygamy. Thus certain mantras in Vedas describe demerits of Polygamy.
- Rig Veda 10.105.8 compares existence of multiple wives with multiple worldly miseries.
- Rig Veda 10.101.11 states that a man with two wives is pressed from both sides and weeps like a horse that neighs when pressed from both sides by spokes while driving a chariot.
- Rig Veda 10.101.11 state that two wives make life aimless.
- Atharva Veda 3.18.2 prays that may a woman never face threat of another co-wife.
---------------------------------------------------------------

First thing to keep in mind is that for spiritual beings, every activity including sex, is performed in the service of the Lord. This implies that intimacy is practiced only for procreation and not for pleasure. However, we, the mere mortals indulge in it with a gusto like animals. So, the closer the people are to God, the less is the desire to be occupied with that activity, even with one partner.

Secondly, looking at the historical facts from the scriptures, it appears that in ancient times, polygamy in India was limited to 'some sections' of the royalty. For example, King Dasharath had four wives, but none of his sons followed that path. Some times multiple wives were the result of forming political alliances, or taking in an extra wife if the first one did not bear a heir to the throne.

So by and large, Hindus have adhered to the scriptures and the general population has not practiced polygamy. However there might have been periods of ir-religiousness combined with material abundance when the populace went haywire. This is documented in the temples of Khajuraho from roughly 1100 AD, when indulging in extreme physical pleasure seems to have been the norm. Under those circumstances, hindus must have practiced what the hippies in the US practiced in the 60's and 70's - free love, or should we call it by its real name, unrestricted lust.

Hope this satiates some of your curiosity about hindu practices.

Regards.
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  #16  
Old 15 July 2010, 01:32 PM
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Re: Polygamy and Hinduism

Not sure why part of the last post shows up twice. Perhaps the site moderator can fix the problem. Thanks.
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  #17  
Old 15 July 2010, 02:07 PM
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Re: Polygamy and Hinduism

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namaskar,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Believer View Post
Not sure why part of the last post shows up twice. Perhaps the site moderator can fix the problem. Thanks.
No, it's not showing up twice. The problem seems to be with firefox browser. Are you by any chance using firefox browser?
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Old 15 July 2010, 02:39 PM
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Re: Polygamy and Hinduism

Yes, I am. Thanks for the info.
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Old 15 July 2010, 10:44 PM
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Re: Polygamy and Hinduism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Believer View Post
Am I to assume that performing wifely duties for five demigods would make you happy, and not worshiping them and establishing a spiritual link to them?

Hmmmmmmmmm..... Interesting thought!
You certainly have an interesting way of interpreting things!

Seriously though, I'd rather worship God than the demigods. I am also of the opinion that the person I marry will be someone who I can grow spiritually with.

So I'm not really sure what you oppose about my original statement.
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Prabhupada.
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Old 15 July 2010, 10:50 PM
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Re: Polygamy and Hinduism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Believer View Post
Am I to assume that performing wifely duties for five demigods would make you happy, and not worshiping them and establishing a spiritual link to them?

Hmmmmmmmmm..... Interesting thought!
And anyway, the husband should worship the wife. 5 worshippers is better than 1
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"For a bewildered person in the materialistic way of life, the body, the mind and the senses, which are engaged in sense gratification, are the cause of bondage to repeated birth, death, old age and disease. But for one who is advanced in spiritual knowledge, the same body, senses and mind are the cause of liberation"
Prabhupada.
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