pati पति

Definition: Under these words denoting primarily, as the evidence collected in the St. Petersburg Dictionary shows, ‘ lord ’ and ‘ lady,’ and so * husband ’ and * wife,’ it is convenient to consider the marital relations of the Vedic community. Child Marriage.—Marriage in the early Vedic texts appears essentially as a union of two persons of full development. This is shown by the numerous references to unmarried girls who grow old in the house of their fathers (amā-jur), and who adorn themselves in desire of marriage, as well as to the paraphernalia of spells and potions used in the Atharvavedic tradition to compel the love of man or woman respectively, while even the Rigveda itself seems to present us with a spell by which a lover seeks to send all the household to sleep when he visits his beloved. Child wives first occur regularly in the Sūtra period, though it is still uncertain to what extent the rule of marriage before puberty there obtained. The marriage ritual also quite clearly presumes that the marriage is a real and not a nominal one: an essential feature is the taking of the bride to her husband’s home, and the ensuing cohabitation. Limitations on Marriage.—It is difficult to say with certainty within what limits marriage was allowed. The dialogue of Yama and Yam! in the Rigveda seems clearly to point to a prohibition of the marriage of brother and sister. It can hardly be said, as Weber thinks, to point to a practice that was once in use and later became antiquated. In the Gobhila Grhya Sūtra and the Dharma Sūtras are found prohibitions against marriage in the Gotra (‘ family ’) or within six degrees on the mother’s or father’s side, but in the śatapatha Brāh-mana marriage is allowed in the third or fourth generation, the former being allowed, according to Harisvamin, by the Kanvas, and the second by the Saurāstras, while the Dāksi- nātyas allowed marriage with the daughter of the mother’s brother or the son of the father’s sister, but presumably not with the daughter of the mother’s sister or the son of the father’s brother. The prohibition of marriage within the Gotra cannot then have existed, though naturally marriages outside the Gotra were frequent. Similarity of caste was also not an essential to marriage, as hypergamy was permitted even by the Dharma Sūtras, so that a Brāhmana could marry wives of any lower caste, a Ksatriya wives of the two lowest castes as well as of his own caste, a Vaiśya a Sūdrā as well as a Vaiśyā, although the Sūdrā marriages were later disapproved in toto. Instances of such intermarriage are common in the Epic, and are viewed as normal in the Brhaddevatā. It was considered proper that the younger brothers and sisters should not anticipate their elders by marrying before them. The later Samhitās and Brāhmanas present a series of names expressive of such anticipation, censuring as sinful those who bear them. These terms are the pari-vividāna, or perhaps agre-dadhus, the man who, though a younger brother, marries before his elder brother, the latter being then called the parivitta; the agre-didhisu, the man who weds a younger daughter while her elder sister is still unmarried; and the Didhisū-pati, who is the husband of the latter. The passages do not explicitly say that the exact order of birth must always be followed, but the mention of the terms shows that the order was often broken. Widow Remarriage. The remarriage of a widow was apparently permitted. This seems originally to have taken the form of the marriage of the widow to the brother or other nearest kinsman of the dead man in order to produce children. At any rate, the ceremony is apparently alluded to in a funeral hymn of the Rigveda; for the alternative explanation, which sees in the verse a reference to the ritual of the Purusamedha (‘human sacrifice’), although accepted by Hillebrandt and Delbruck, is not at all probable, while the ordinary view is supported by the Sūtra evidence. Moreover, another passage of the Rigveda clearly refers to the marriage of the widow and the husband’s brother {devr), which constitutes what the Indians later knew as Niyoga. This custom was probably not followed except in cases where no son was already born. This custom was hardly remarriage in the strict sense, since the brother might—so far as appears—be already married himself. In the Atharvaveda, a verse refers to a charm which would secure the reunion, in the next world, of a wife and her second husband. Though, as Delbruck thinks, this very possibly refers to a case in which the first husband was still alive, but was impotent or had lost caste (patita), still it is certain that the later Dharma Sūtras began to recognize ordinary remarriage in case of the death of the first husband Pischel finds some evidence in the Rigveda to the effect that a woman could remarry if her husband disappeared and could not be found or heard of. Polygamy. A Vedic Indian could have more than one wife. This is proved clearly by many passages in the Rigveda; Manu, according to the Maitrāyanī Samhitā, had ten wives; and the Satapatha Brāhmana explains polygamy by a characteristic legend. Moreover, the king regularly has four wives attributed to him, the Mahisī, the Parivrktī, the Vāvātā, and the Pālāgalī. The Mahisī appears to be the chief wife, being the first, one married according to the śata¬patha Brāhmana. The Parivrktī, ‘ the neglected,’ is explained by Weber and Pischel as one that has had no son. The Vāvātā is ‘the favourite,’ while the Pālāgalī is, according to Weber, the daughter of the last of the court officials. The names are curious, and not very intelligible, but the evidence points to the wife first wedded alone being a wife in the fullest sense. This view is supported by the fact emphasized by Delbruck, that in the sacrifice the Patnī is usually mentioned in the singular, apparent exceptions being due to some mythological reason. Zimmer is of opinion that polygamy is dying out in the Rigvedic period, monogamy being developed from pologamy; Weber, however, thinks that polygamy is secondary, a view that is supported by more recent anthropology. Polyandry.—On the other hand, polyandry is not Vedic. There is no passage containing any clear reference to such a custom. The most that can be said is that in the Rigveda and the Atharvaveda verses are occasionally found in which husbands are mentioned in relation to a single wife. It is difficult to be certain of the correct explanation of each separate instance of this mode of expression; but even if Weber’s view, that the plural is here used majestatis causa, is not accepted, Delbruck’s explanation by mythology is probably right. In other passages the plural is simply generic. Marital Relations.—Despite polygamy, however, there is ample evidence that the marriage tie was not, as Weber has suggested, lightly regarded as far as the fidelity of the wife was concerned. There is, however, little trace of the husband’s being expected to be faithful as a matter of morality. Several passages, indeed, forbid, with reference to ritual abstinence, intercourse with the strī of another. This may imply that adultery on the husband’s part was otherwise regarded as venial. But as the word strī includes all the ‘womenfolk,’ daughters and slaves, as well as wife, the conclusion can hardly be drawn that intercourse with another man’s ‘wife’ was normally regarded with indifference. The curious ritual of the Varunapraghāsās, in which the wife of the sacrificer is questioned as to her lovers, is shown by Delbruck to be a part of a rite meant to expiate unchastity on the part of a wife, not as a normal question for a sacrificer to put to his own wife. Again, Yājñavalkya’s doctrine in the Satapatha Brāhmana, which seems to assert that no one cares if a wife is unchaste (parah-pumsā) or not, really means that no one cares if the wife is away from the men who are sacrificing, as the wives of the gods are apart from them during the particular rite in question. Monogamy is also evidently approved, so that some higher idea of morality was in course of formation. On the other hand, no Vedic text gives us the rule well known to other Indo-Germanic peoples that the adulterer taken in the act can be killed with impunity, though the later legal literature has traces of this rule. There is also abundant evidence that the standard of ordinary sexual morality was not high. Hetairai. In the Rigveda there are many references to illegitimate love and to the abandonment of the offspring of such unions,ββ especially in the case of a protege of Indra, often mentioned as the parāvrkta or parāvrj. The ‘son of a maiden ’ (kumārī-putra) is already spoken of in the Vājasaneyi Samhitā. Such a person appears with a metronymic in the Upanisad period: this custom may be the origin of metro- nymics such as those which make up a great part of the lists of teachers (Vamśas) of the Brhadāranyaka Upanisad. The Vājasaneyi Samhitā refers to illicit unions of śūdra and Arya, both male and female, besides giving in its list of victims at the Purusamedha, or ‘human sacrifice,’ several whose designations apparently mean ‘ courtesan (atītvarī) and ‘ procuress of abortion ’ (


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