[Advaita-l] Sons known after their Mothers' names

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Jul 6 02:50:30 CDT 2016

In the Shruti/Smriti  literature we have a number of instances where a son
is referred to through the mother's name.

What comes to mind immediately are: Kaunteya, Pārtha - names of Arjuna and
sometimes applicable to his brothers too in the MB/BG.

Kosaleya is Rama, son of Kausalya.

Soumitrī is Lakshmaṇa, son of Sumitrā.

Rohiṇeya is Balarāma, son of Rohiṇi.

Rādheya is Karṇa, son of Rādha, his foster mother.

In the Chandogya Shruti we have the famous name: Jābāla, Satyakāma, son of
mother Jabālā.

There is even a straight name: Devakīputra Kriṣhna in the Chandogya
Upanishad 3.7.6.

It is not that all the above named persons did not have a father or the
father's identity was unknown. Yet they are popular by those names.

In the Mahabharata serial, we have seen Gāndhāri addressing her husband
Dhṛtarāṣṭra as 'Ārya putra'.  It looks like the practice of uttering the
husband's name was not present in the olden times.

I heard a humorous story in a Madhva gathering for a 'aṣṭāvadhāna'
presentation in the Uttarādi Maṭha recently.  It was narrated by the
'aprasakta prasanga' person, part of the avadhāna, thus:

The Swami of the Maṭha has influenced many of his devotees by saying that a
chaste woman will not utter her husband's name.  Once a census party
visiting a house had this experience:

They asked for the husband, the head of the family.  He had gone out and
his wife replied them. They asked for his name and she refused to utter the
name saying 'Ask the Swamiji'. The officer replied: 'Madam, the Swamiji
will be on tour somewhere and where can we find him to ask this?'
 Thereupon the lady said: I shall give a puzzle and you can find out the
reply there.

If he jumps from top to bottom it is eight feet. From right to left it is
six feet and from left to right eight feet.

The officer could decipher the hidden message: Her husband's name is:
Hanumantha Rao.

The above was said there and shared here only in jest.


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