[Advaita-l] Pancha Kanya Questions

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Sat Jun 9 01:22:31 CDT 2012

We have to first reflect on their supernatural birth as kanyas, which frees
them from mundane laws. Arjuna, in his visit to devaloka, considered
Urvashi to be his mother as he was the son of Indra and refused her amorous
advances. He did not realise that Urvashi was acting as per her apsaras
dharma and it was he who rejected his purusha dharma. So, she cursed him to
become an eunuch. It is a different matter that Krishna changed it to a
boon. So, the importance of their supernatural birth as kanyas cannot be
overemphasised. But they also teach practically for all levels of women.

For those at the lowest level, Ahalya teaches what a woman and her husband
> should do to protect dharma ifshe commits adultery.

At the next level, Tara and Mandodhati show whose protection a woman should
> take, without violating dharma, if her husband is killed. It seems
> illogical today when women are apparently free but the dharma of the winner
> taking possession of the loser's women is required to prevent them from
> becoming the object of exploitation by all and sundry. It is also easy to
> say that they should commit sati but it can never be forced. It was only
> committed in rare cases until medieval times where the practice of sati
> became honour killing. It is not required to die to be a pativrata.

At the highest level, Draupadi and Sita, show how pativrata dharma acts as
a protective shield against the most powerful aggressors.

> >A pious woman has to control her kama. Knowing fully well that the person
> in disguise was Indra, she succumbed. A sin was definitely committed but it
> is a different matter that she did prayaschita after that. Or else the
> question of prayaschita wouldn't have arisen.

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