• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Introduction
 Table of Contents
 The maid
 Marriage
 The wedding
 Life in marriage
 Woman as mother
 Woman in her sexual relations
 The pleasures of sex (surata)
 The sexual continence of man
 The pleasures of venal love: The...
 Love
 Woman as wife
 Woman as child-bearer: The origin...
 Woman lying-in
 Woman in the house
 The widow
 Woman in misfortune and in...
 The ideal woman
 The woman of energy
 Position, rank, and importance...
 The worth and nature of woman
 Woman is a chattel
 The power of woman
 Index
 Back Matter
 Back Cover














Group Title: Sexual life in ancient India;
Title: Sexual life in ancient India
CITATION PDF VIEWER THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00098526/00001
 Material Information
Title: Sexual life in ancient India a study in the comparative history of Indian culture
Physical Description: xv, 590 p. : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Meyer, Johann Jakob, 1870-1939
Publisher: Barnes & Noble
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: 1953
 Subjects
Subject: Women in India   ( lcsh )
Hindu civilization   ( lcsh )
Sexual Behavior -- history   ( mesh )
Social life and customs -- India   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: Translation of Das Weib im altindischen Epos.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00098526
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 00170844
lccn - 53009506

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:

PDF ( 27 MBs ) ( PDF )


Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter 1
        Front Matter 2
    Half Title
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Introduction
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
    The maid
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
    Marriage
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
    The wedding
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
    Life in marriage
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
    Woman as mother
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
    Woman in her sexual relations
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
    The pleasures of sex (surata)
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
    The sexual continence of man
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
    The pleasures of venal love: The public woman
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
    Love
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
    Woman as wife
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
        Page 358
    Woman as child-bearer: The origin of man
        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
        Page 368
        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
        Page 373
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
        Page 379
        Page 380
        Page 381
        Page 382
        Page 383
        Page 384
        Page 385
        Page 386
        Page 387
        Page 388
        Page 389
        Page 390
    Woman lying-in
        Page 391
        Page 392
        Page 393
        Page 394
        Page 395
        Page 396
        Page 397
        Page 398
        Page 399
    Woman in the house
        Page 400
        Page 401
        Page 402
        Page 403
        Page 404
        Page 405
    The widow
        Page 406
        Page 407
        Page 408
        Page 409
        Page 410
        Page 411
        Page 412
        Page 413
        Page 414
        Page 415
        Page 416
        Page 417
        Page 418
    Woman in misfortune and in sorrow
        Page 419
        Page 420
        Page 421
        Page 422
        Page 423
        Page 424
        Page 425
        Page 426
    The ideal woman
        Page 427
        Page 428
        Page 429
        Page 430
        Page 431
        Page 432
        Page 433
        Page 434
        Page 435
    The woman of energy
        Page 436
        Page 437
        Page 438
        Page 439
        Page 440
        Page 441
        Page 442
        Page 443
        Page 444
        Page 445
        Page 446
        Page 447
        Page 448
        Page 449
        Page 450
        Page 451
        Page 452
        Page 453
        Page 454
        Page 455
        Page 456
        Page 457
        Page 458
        Page 459
        Page 460
        Page 461
        Page 462
        Page 463
    Position, rank, and importance of woman
        Page 464
        Page 465
        Page 466
        Page 467
        Page 468
        Page 469
        Page 470
        Page 471
        Page 472
        Page 473
        Page 474
        Page 475
        Page 476
        Page 477
        Page 478
        Page 479
        Page 480
        Page 481
        Page 482
        Page 483
        Page 484
        Page 485
        Page 486
        Page 487
        Page 488
        Page 489
        Page 490
        Page 491
        Page 492
        Page 493
        Page 494
    The worth and nature of woman
        Page 495
        Page 496
        Page 497
        Page 498
        Page 499
        Page 500
        Page 501
        Page 502
        Page 503
        Page 504
        Page 505
        Page 506
    Woman is a chattel
        Page 507
        Page 508
        Page 509
        Page 510
        Page 511
        Page 512
        Page 513
        Page 514
        Page 515
        Page 516
        Page 517
        Page 518
        Page 519
        Page 520
        Page 521
        Page 522
        Page 523
        Page 524
        Page 525
        Page 526
        Page 527
        Page 528
        Page 529
        Page 530
        Page 531
        Page 532
        Page 533
    The power of woman
        Page 534
        Page 535
        Page 536
        Page 537
        Page 538
        Page 539
        Page 540
        Page 541
        Page 542
        Page 543
        Page 544
        Page 545
        Page 546
        Page 547
        Page 548
        Page 549
        Page 550
        Page 551
        Page 552
        Page 553
        Page 554
        Page 555
        Page 556
        Page 557
        Page 558
        Page 559
        Page 560
        Page 561
        Page 562
        Page 563
        Page 564
        Page 565
        Page 566
    Index
        Page 567
        Page 568
        Page 569
        Page 570
        Page 571
        Page 572
        Page 573
        Page 574
        Page 575
        Page 576
        Page 577
        Page 578
        Page 579
        Page 580
        Page 581
        Page 582
        Page 583
        Page 584
        Page 585
        Page 586
        Page 587
        Page 588
        Page 589
        Page 590
        Page 591
        Page 592
    Back Matter
        Page 593
        Page 594
    Back Cover
        Page 595
        Page 596
Full Text


SEXUAL LIFE
IN ANCIENT INDIA







Uniform with this volume
SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT ROME






SEXUAL LIFE

IN ANCIENT INDIA

A STUDY IN THE COMPARATIVE
HISTORY OF INDIAN CULTURE


JOHANN


by
AKOB


MEYER


New York


BARNES & NOBLE, INC.
1953







Authorized Translation from the German, containing the
emendations and additions of the Author. The extra
references of one of the Translators are indicated by
square brackets.













































PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY
LUND HUMPHRIES
LONDON BRADFORD









EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION
IN the preface to the German edition of this book, Pro-
fessor Meyer tells us that it is an attempt to give a true
and vivid account of the life of woman in ancient India, based
upon the immense masses of material imbedded in the two
great Epics, the Mahdbharata and the Ramdyana. His method
has been to make liberal use of the very words of the Epics.
The Mahabhirata seems to occupy an unique place in the
literature of the world. Parts of it, like the Bhagavad-gitd,
and the story of Nala and Damayanti, have become familiar to
educated readers in almoS every country of the wefS, but these
are only fragments of an enormous work, consisting of about a
hundred thousand couplets, of which Professor Macdonell
says 1 :
Its epic kernel, amounting to about one-fifth of the whole work,
became so much overgrown with didactic matter that it could
hardly be regarded as an epic at all, and has rather taken the place
of a moral encyclopaedia in Indian literature."
It provides us with most valuable sources of information about
the relations of the sexes, and the concepts underlying those
relations, in India fifteen hundred and more years ago.
Professor Meyer has used the Bombay edition of the Ramd-
yana, and the second impression of the Bombay Mahdbhdrata.
All his references which do not specify a particular title are to
this version of the Mahabhdrata. To some extent, he has
consulted what he calls the Kumbakonam version mainly
based on the South Indian texts ". This he refers to as K.
For the present translation, Professor Meyer has completely
revised the German work, made various alterations in the text,
and considerably enlarged the number of references.
ABBREVIATIONS
SBE. Sacred Books of the Eaft (edited by F. Max Miller).
JAOS. Journal of the American Oriental Society.
JRAS. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society.
ZDMG. Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenlandischen Gesellschaft.
WZKM. Wiener Zeitschrift fuir die Kunde des Morgenlandes.
1 India's Past (p. 88). Oxford, 1927.










CONTENTS
OF VOLUME ONE
PAGE
EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION V

I.-THE MAID
a. The daughter is unwelcome 6
b. The daughter is beloved and happy 8
c. The spoiled daughter .
d. The good daughter 21
e. The fallen maiden and her sorrow 31
f. Maidenhood refsored or unscathed in sexual intercourse
33, 35, 41-43
g. High efteem set on maidenly purity 43
h. The fair one with determination in things of love 45

II.-MRRIAGE : TO WHOM AND HOW IS THE
MAIDEN TO BE MARRIED ?
a. The father's (the kinsfolk's) right to marry away the daughter 54
b. The father's duty to marry his daughter away .54
c. The different kinds of marriage 55
d. To whom shall the daughter be given ? 56, 57, 60, 62
e. What makes the marriage and the promise of marriage
valid in law ? 58
f. Age, character, and cafte of the maiden whom the man mufs
or may wed 57, 58, 63, 65
g. Division of inheritance among the children of wives from
different caRtes (as also the wife's share), and position
of the wives from different cases 65
h. Marriage by capture 67
i. The self-choice of the maiden (Svayamvara) 78
k. The Gandharva marriage 89
1. Marriage by purchase 00
m. Marriages between Brahmans and nobles 04
n. The marriage of younger brothers or silsers before the elder
forbidden Io105







CONTENTS
PAGE
o. Polyandry .o8
p. Hetcrism .
q. Speculations on the true nature of marriage 130

III.-THE WEDDING
a. The fefival and usages 39
b. Wedding-gifts to the bridegroom ; dowry to the bride I41
IF.-LIFE IN MARRIAGE
a. JWedlock a necessity for both sexes 146
b. High dignity of the eflate offather of the household .
c. tWedlock especially needful to woman 155
d. Overcoming unfruitfulness 156
e. Deputed fathership (especially through Brahmans) 60
f. The Levirate 165
g. The different kinds of sons 74
h. Family life and family happiness 183
i. Love of parents for the children 184
k. Sorrow of the kinsfolk for the dead child 86
1. The misfortune of having but one child 191
m. Love of children for the parents 94

F.-WOMAN AS MOTHER
a. The high dignity and position of the mother 99
b. Behaviour when duty towards the mother confids with that
towards the father 201
c. Reverence of children towards the mother 208
d. Tender love of the mother towards the children . 210

FI.-WOMAN IN HER SEXUAL RELATIONS
a. The moral earnefiness of the Epic (love and wedlock in-
separably bound together for the woman) 214
b. The ritu (the time meet for fertilization) and its high
importance. The right and duty of coition is founded
on it .215
c. The man then mu 217
d. The woman then will 220
viii







CONTENTS
PAGE
e. The man's seed sent off y bird-posf to her that is ready for
fertilization 223
f. Commerce with her that is fill unclean strictly forbidden 225
YII.-THE PLEAS URES OF SEX (SURATA)
a. The woman's joy and vigour in the pleasures of love . 229
b. Punishment for disturbing the surata (death during the
sexual embrace) 233
c. The joys of love as a healing her 238
d. Means for heightening the powers and heroes in strength of love 239
e. Uncleanness of the surata 240
f. Regulation of the pleasures of sex (not in public, not outside
the vulva, not by day or at certain other times, not with
another woman than the wife) 241
g. Punishments awaiting the lewd man in this life and in the
other .246
h. The dreadfulness of intercourse with the teacher's wife
or with a woman of higher cafe . 251
i. Other details : not to look on a naked ranger woman,
atonement for nightly pollution, a thoughtful hero of
charity, etc. 256
VIII.-THE SEXUAL CONTINENCE OF MAN
a. Value of chasity in general 258
b. The ascetic's complete sexual denial, its dignity, and power,
its difficulty, and the means of keeping it . 258
c. The curber of his senses who was seduced by the woman 260
d. The ascetic who was set in an orgasm through the sight on/v
of a lovely woman 26

IX.-THE PLEASURES OF FENAL LOVE: THE
PUBLIC WOMAN
a. Profsitution in full flower 264
b. The harlot a necessity of life; an important part of social life;
she accompanies in war, the hunt, and other diversions 266
c. The woman of pleasure as an ornament to the fefival, escort of
honour for and attendant on the important gue 268
d. Condemnation of the venal woman 273











CONTENTS
OF VOLUME TWO

X.-LOVE
PAGE
a. In the Epic, too, there are splendid poems on love. 277
b. Tales of the man's romantic love (Cantanu and Satyavati,
Samvarana and Tapati, Ruru and Pramadvara) 278
c. The love romance of the giant maiden Hidimbd 29
d. Rama's love lament and sorrow for the lots Sita 295
e. Bhima's chivalry towards Draupadi (his search for the
golden flower, his revenge on Kicaka, etc.) 298
f. The wild and heedless love life of the man (the woman only
a booty, the holy man as holt of love, wife robbery and
the ministering to pleasure among the gods, the enjoyment
of many women the man's ideal, the rewarding of virtue
with women in heaven 3
g. Places and opportunities for love (parks, woods, picnics) .322
h. Arousing love :-
(i) Heady drink, and feRsivals and sacrificial feals
enlivened by it, the unabashed participation of
women in the joys of drinking, the amorous
effeds of intoxication in women 324
(ii) The things of nature (spring glories, beauties of
nature, forest, bird-song, wind, etc.) . 328
(iii) Love-charms 330
i. Love is the high good 3
k. Love is all-powerful and does away with responsibility 332
1. It robs of shame and virtue 333
m. It is the root of pain and death 333
n. It muRs be enjoyed in moderation 333
o. Macrobiotic rules for love and marriage 333
p. Love muls be on both sides and is given to the person present 334
7. The woman in love goes to the tryf in the man's house .335
r. Explanation of concepts, phallolatry, and some erotic details 338







CONTENTS
XI.-WOMAN AS WIFE
PAGE
a. Charader and praise of the true wife 340
b. The dignity of women "-the lofty and hard task of the
woman 344
c. The faithful wife sands above the holy penitent . 347
d. She can work miracles 350
e. She has her reward in the beyond 350
f. The stern demands on the wife (the husband the only law
for the wife) 351
g. Examples of exading husbands 352
h. Examples of wives who find it too much 355
i. Three examples of wifely faithfulness 356
XII.-WOMAN AS CHILD-BEARER : THE ORIGIN OF
MAN, PHYSIOLOGICALLY AND METAPHYSICALLY
a. Physiological origin and discharge of the male seed . 359
b. Metaphysics of procreation and fetus formation :
(i) The relation and adion of the reincarnated soul and
the karman 361, 366
(ii) The adion of matter (prakriti) 364
c. Physiological origin and stages of growth of the womb's fruit 364
d. Origin of the senses and their infsruments . 363
e. The continuous change in all elements of the human organism 364
f. Woman the cause of procreation and of the Samsara 365
g. Which parts of the body come from the father, which from
the mother, and whom do the children take after ? 369
h. Influence on the charader through unlawful begetting, and the
fivefold way whereby gods can beget 370
i. Pregnancy and cases of its extraordinarily long period 371
k. Condemnation of pregnancy in too early years, and of fa'tus-
slaying 372
1. Pregnancy of the man 372
m. Generatio aequivoca 374
n. Tales of changes in sex 376
XIII.- WOMAN LYING IN
a. Her uncleanness, and the demons dangerous to her and the child 391
b. Means for warding of harmful influences and powers . 396






CONTENTS
XIF.-WOMAN IN THE HOUSE
PAGE
a. The spiteful holy man, and the equally so cooking-pot .400
b. The canonization of the careful cooking-woman (the super-
natural flow of time and the feet in the fre 401
c. The house-mother must keep good order 402
d. Is she miSnress of the house? . 403
e. The beautiful relation between daughter-in-law and mother-
in-law 404
XV.-THE WIDOW AND HER BITTER LOT
a. Her material position 406
b. Afresh marriage forbidden 407
c. Widowhood is the greatest sorrow 410
d. Widow-burning 412
e. Dead husbands, brothers, etc. magically seen once more 415
f. Intercourse and children begotten with the dead husband .416

XJI.--WOMAN IN MISFORTUNE AND IN SORROW
a. Draupadi's grief at Arjuna's going away 419
b. Kunti's sorrow when her sons go of into banishment . 419
c. The women's lament for those fallen in battle .. 419
d. Sita's sorrow when she believes Rama dead 422
e. Her wifely love and fsout heart at Rama's banishment 423
f. Her suferings and heroism in captivity 424

XFII.-THE IDEAL WOMAN
a. Sita, Sdvitri, etc. 427
b. Composite pidure of the charader of the pattern woman .427
c. Beauty (catalogue of the woman's bodily attradions, their
importance for the owner's happiness) . 430
XVIII.-THE WOMAN OF ENERGY
a. The woman in the Eafs and particularly in India is sironger-
willed and more passionate than the man, above all in
the business of love 436
b. The passionate and Strong-willed Draupadi 440
c. Kunti fierily spurring on (the words of idul) 457
d. The ambitious and revengeful goddess 463
xiii






CONTENTS
XIX.-POSITION, RANK, AND IMPORTANCE OF WOMAN
PAGE


a. Her share in important things . .
b. Women's rule in the late .
c. The wife goes, too, to the fight, the hunt, etc.
d. Woman and the felival : amusements and diversions of the
women .
e. Women's journeyings .
f. The harem or polygamy :-
(i) Polygamy is right for the man, wrong for the woman
(ii) Duties of the man with many wives (the partial
moon) .
(iii) The passed-over wife of the polygamifS (Kaucalya,
Devayani and her son) .
(iv) Enmity between wives .
(v) The sorrow of the wife when another is taken
(vi) Harem life in town and camp
g. The watch over women, and how but one in the world has
been kept from evil by another man
h. The treatment of woman :-
(i) She muh be lovingly cherished and cared for by the
man .. .
(ii) The husband mu! not let himself be kept by the wife
(iii) The dreadfulness of woman-slaying
(iv) The woman mug not be beaten, handled badly, nor
forced. .
(v) On lying to women and deceiving them
(vi) Yarious rules for behaviour towards women
(vii) The woman in sulks .

XX.-THE WORTH AND NATURE OF WOMAN


" Honour women," who are the springs of happiness
Woman is the essence of all evil .
Is insatiable in the joys of love, and always unchate .
Is full offalsehood and trickery
Bad women are made that heaven shall not be over-filled
Woman is changeable, does not love at all, etc.
XIV


464
465
466

467
470

47'

47r

473
474
476
478

480


486
487
487

489
490
492
494


S495
S496
S497
S499
S499
500






CONTENTS


PAGE
g. Is evil and sorrow. .502
h. Is ill-tempered and quarrelsome 503
i. Is ruthlessly curious .503
k. Is compassionate, at leaf? often 504
/. Can be redeemed 506

XXI.-WOMAN IS A CHATTEL
a. Women (girls) as gifts and fees for sacrifice 508
b. Woman (the daughter) given so as to save oneself 51
c. The yielding up of the daughter or the wife to Brahmans
as a highly meritorious deed 51
d. The satisfadion of the guefn's needs of sex (through slave-
woman, daughter, wife); "the man that overcame
death" .512
e. The wife for one's friend 517
f. The wife as property 518
g. The wife's adultery is an ofence against property, is there-
fore punished by the husband 520
h. Rama's treatment of the supposedly besmirched Sta 525
i. Woman, the wife also, can easily be got, is an unimportant
obje of the senses. 530

XXII.-THE POWER OF WOMAN

a. Influence of the woman on war and peace 534
b. Wherein lies woman's power? (Tears, smiles, attradive
wiles, etc., qualities of charader) 535
c. How does the woman ensure the love and devotion of her
husband? (Magic, pious works, the right bearing
towards her husband) 536
d. The might of woman's beauty 539
e. Woman overcomes even the savage giant (the inseparable
demon-brothers Sunda and Upasunda) 539
f. The woman and the innocent forest youth (R.ishyacringa) .540

APPENDIX : ADDITIONS AND CORRECTIONS 549

INDEX 567
















VOLUME ONE


I
THE MAID

T HE Mahabharata in its present form is a composition
from widely separated periods in the history of Old
Indian literature, and its elements are derived from various
parts of the Old Indian land. It was not written by one man,
but it is the work contributed by many hands. It is a growth :
one piece from here, another from there ; one from this time,
another from that. Like an Indian jungle it spreads out before
us in an endless wilderness of trees entwined and tangled with
rank creepers, coloured and scented with manifold flowers
and blossoms, and the home of every kind of living creature.
Bewitching bird-song, the terrifying cries of wild beasts fall
on our ears ; the poisonous snake winds its coils beside the
mild dove ; the robber dwells therein, free, indeed, from the
law, but often the slave of superstitions beyond belief; and so
the self-denying thinker with his eyes set above the earth,
and his thoughts reaching into the depths of the world and of
his soul. There lie the roots of a glowing, unbounded wealth
of life, of a will strong beyond any other power ; and by their
side are found the depths of dreaming, the heavy dead sleep
of many thousand years, so that we should ourselves. s'nk into
it, too, were it not for the swarms of singing flies. And so we
could long go on, setting wonder against wonder, but hardly
ever reaching an end to it all It is a great sea ", to sail over
which threefold bronze is needed, not, indeed, about the
breast, but anyhow, about another, not so heroic part of
the body.







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
The Ramayana, on the other hand, has a closer unity, it
being, indeed, very generally attributed by the critics to one
poet. But in this case, too, whether or no we put our faith
in tradition, it is clear that from the very beginning various
parts were brought together and made use of, and that later all
kinds of interpolations and changes were made.
Thus in very many points we can look for no inner con-
sistency in either of the two great national Epics of India.
In every human being, indeed, we can find a host of contra-
dictions side by side ; how much the more will they be found
where so many minds have helped in the building up of one
work. Both Epics bear the clearest Indian samp ; through
both, too, runs one view only of the world : the Quietist view.
But while this seems fairly natural to the Ramayar.a, to the real
stem of the Mahibharata it is utterly strange, and has been
only gradually grafted on to the mighty growth of the wild
plant. The Ramayana, indeed, is seen from the very beginning
to be essentially soft, dreamy, fantastic, and deeply religious-
to be a work of the Brahmans. On the other hand, the poetry
of the Mahabharata is often quickened in its older parts by a
mighty flame of fire, a manly, undaunted, passionate soul :
it was a warrior that sung this heroic song, whoever it may be
to whom the "original Mahabharata" may be referred.
Later hands then fixed all kinds of labels on the pieces that had
been preserved in greater perfection, utterly re-modelled much,
inserted long pieces, and sought, well or ill, to give the whole
the tendentious coating of Brahmanism. Out of a rugged
epic, in which the proud warrior,boasting his strength and power,
was the main, perhaps the only concern, it became the aim to
glorify the priest as never before or since in the world's literature,
and at an early stage the paragon Arjuna and the wretched
canting Yudhishthira were set in the place of Karna, the
sun's son, and of the mighty Duryodhana, without the result,
however, of robbing the old and true heroes of all their splendour,
not to speak of raising the utterly worthless favourites of the
priests to the same heights.1 Everywhere the structure of
1 The fa& of this utter reversal of the earlier state of things is beyond
any doubt. The explanation of this extraordinary phenomenon will
perhaps always be a matter for conjecure. Despite a huge difference,
2






THE MAID
the Epic itself shows gaping joins and fissures. To this is
added the heavy additional weight of the most diverse episodes
and interpolations. In the details, too, of the observations and
wearisome details as to God and the World, as to Man and his
nature and adions, we very often find utter contradictions;
and this is so whether the ruthless warrior or the softer thinker,
the ardent ascetic or the sly priest is speaking, whether individual
peculiarities, or the shades derived from time and place, or
some other influence are to be seen.
When, therefore, there are already so many contradictions
found side by side, it is seen at once that, on the subjeA of
that great bundle of contradiaions, Woman and all belonging
to her, or to speak more exactly, on the subject of the refledion
of this objet in the brain and heart of Man, the two
great Epics, especially the Mahabharata, contain very contra-
ditory utterances, and that often one saying will flatly contradict
another. This lies first of all in the nature of the Indian. In
other lands, too, the attitude of the feelings and thoughts of
man towards woman very often undergoes changes according
to the State of mind and experience of life, and above all
according to personal experience of the fairer half of mankind,
not to speak of the more or less dominating deeper charader
of the individual, or other influences. And thus even in the
cooler West the proverbs, the songs, the tales, and so forth
about women make up the most twisted bundle in the world.
In the soul of the Indian there dwells that twin pair, burning
sensuality and stark renunciation of the world and the flesh.
What a delight and torment then must woman be to him And

Duryodhana reminds me strongly of Saul in the Old Teglament,
Yudhishthira of David. The Pandava are favourites of the priestly
party, and doubtless did not win this place for nothing. These evidently
non-Aryan intruders may have hidden the multitude of their sins, after
the way only too well-known, with the cloak of prie~tly fawning,
as crafty converts to Brahmanism. The Kaurava, on the contrary,
as the doughty champions of the warrior nobility, probably aroused
the undying hatred of the Brahmans. Since writing this I have
come upon the excellent remarks of W. Crooke, The North-Ileflern
Provinces of India (1897), p. 65, where he describes the spirit of the
tv.o Epics as I have done.







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
since he is wont to express his impressions and views with great
violence, has no fear of any deduAion and drives everything
to its utmost end, we might put together a more than gigantic
folio volume on woman from Indian literature, whose various
parts would only have this in common : their contradiction
of one another.
But I think that there is one thing that can be picked out,
from the nature of the Indian we have just been describing,
as a specific attribute : among other peoples, or among the
Western civilized nations, we find a more delicate colouring,
more individuality, a greater variety and richness in the
variations on the inexhaustible theme of woman. In India,
on the other hand, two personalities, above all, though by no
means exclusively, are heard: the voluptuary and the
renouncer. This, of course, does not at all necessarily mean
that the former will only praise woman and the latter only
condemn her, for we know that it is very often those who run
after women who despise them most heartily, and any true
regard for them must be quite lacking in such men ; and
whether we are friendly inclined or otherwise towards the
sex, it offers the keen observer so rich and varied a material
that in this case a wholly one-sided view or even a feeling of
boredom is only possible to a narrow head and heart. The
Hindu shows, indeed, a keen observation at all times when he
has to do with the way of the world; that is why hardly
any other people has so great a proverbial wisdom; and
there has been no want in India of moderate men, standing
rather between the extremes.
Thus it is that the Indian in particular, in his views on woman
and love, has from very early times shown that capacity for
living in earnest, for ethics, for healthy feeling, which with
him ever and again in other fields, too, makes itself felt through
every kind of dissoluteness : on filth and corruption it will
not seldom bring forth to the light of day even sweet flowers
of lovely colours. So it is that woman, above all as a
loving wife and tender mother-woman, that is, in her most
natural and fairest calling-has nowhere else found greater
and more heartfelt appreciation ; in most literatures, indeed,
there is far less. Let anyone, for instance, set what has been






THE MAID
written in Old India beside what was written in the Middle
Ages, or beside Romance, in particular old and even modern
French literature ; in spite of so many, not always edifying,
though nearly always interesting refinements, there is wafted
to us from the world of the Old Indian books a deeply ethical
spirit, one might even say a wholesomeness, which has a very
pleasing effect in contrast with the so often empty frivolity-
the nauseating filthiness and vulgarity-that meets us out of
those other literatures. To put it otherwise and not to wander
abroad : the Old Indian loose tales, indeed, in spite of the
cautionary thread running all through them, have not been
trimmed and put together by literary tailors working for
girls' schools; and yet they are like real moral strait-
waistcoats, when compared with a great many of the more or
less highly praised productions of the later and latest German
writers.
It is now well known, and it has been stressed by many with
a special knowledge of India, that these two great Epics
still exert an influence to-day on the mind and the life of the
Hindu people like no other literary work.' There is the further
fat that the literature of the post-Epic times is often very
greatly dependent on the Epic, or influenced in many places by it.
Owing to these inner relations between the Epic and the Classical
literature, there thus arises, furthermore, a far-reaching indirect
influence. What Indian woman (to speak only of the obvious)
did not know and honour Sita and Savitri and other heroines
of the Epic poems !
The Epic, however, in many respeAs only gives us very
fragmentary information about woman and her life and the
value set on her among the Old Indians. But in general it is
only a section of Old Indian life that is opened before us in the
Epic poems. How much, indeed, do we learn as to the great
mass of the people The warrior and the Brahman take all
I So J. C. Oman, The Great Indian Epic, London, 1906, p. I ff. ;
Nisikantha Chattopadhyaya in his Indian Essays; Sister Nivedita,
'Te IW'eb of lndia. Life, London, 1906, pp. 95-115 ; Ramakrishna,
Life inr a.- I P.7di.7 village, London, 1891, p. 142 ff.; Basanta Koomar
Roy, Rabidra: NA'a! Tagore (New York, 1915), p. 28 ; W. Crooke,
'The NArth-I cr '-rer, Provinces of India (London, 1897), p. 256.







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
our attention for themselves. I sing arms and the prie !
But happily there' is incidentally a lot more besides in those
huge works, and on our theme, too. Poetry can do without
the husbandman and the burgher, but take away woman and
you cut its very life away.
But however important woman is, her entry into the city of
life is seldom hailed on this earth with hosannas and palm-
Srewn roads ; nor is she met with the blare of trumpets that
joyfully greets the warrior-hero.1 She is neither a world-

1 How unwelcome girls are among the various peoples and tribes has
been, of course, often described. It will be enough to refer to Ploss-
Bartels, Das Weib in der Natur- und Vilkerkunde 4, i, 247 ff., ii, 473 ;
and Weftermarck, The Hisfory of Human Marriage 3, London, 19 1,
p. 3T ff.; Elsie Clews Parsons, The Old-Fashioned Woman, 201 ff.
On India see, for instance, Ramabai Sarasvati, The High Casfe Hindu
Woman, and Billington, Woman in India, p. I ff.; James Tod,
Rajaflhan (that is, Annals and Antiquities of Rajaflhan, popular ed.,
Calcutta), i, 670 ff.; S. C. Bose, The Hindoos as They Are (I881),
pp. 24, 28, 216 ff.; Bulloram Mullick, Home Life in Bengal, p. 68,
103. The Arabs before Mohammed seem to be the moft brutal among
the barbarians, for they simply buried girl-children alive. Hauri,
Der Islam, p. 8 ; Finck, Primitive Love and Love Stories, p. 32 ;
Schweiger-Lerchenfeld, Die Frauen des Orients, 63 f.; Hartmann,
Zeitsch. d. Vereins f. Volkskunde, Bd. ii, p. 240; Welhausen,
Gittinger Nachrichten, 1893, p. 458 ; and, above all, Anthropos,
Bd. iii, p. 62 ff. A sentence in this laft may be given here, which could
have been written of far too many other places on the earth: II
eft d'usage parmi les Bedouins que quand un gargon vient au monde,
il eft annonce a la famille et a tous les voisins par des cris de joie qui
se ripetent d'une tente A l'autre, mais quand c'eft une fille qui vient
augmenter le nombre des membres de la famille on garde le silence
le plus absolu, accompagn6 de toutes les marques de la triftesse,
qu'on laisse voir A tout le monde (p. 65). When we find here too the
statement that many beat the poor wife that has brought a girl
into the world, we may also refer perhaps to Fr. S. Krauss, Sitte
und Brauch der Siidslaven (r885), p. 540 f., and also to p. 592 ff.
According to McLennan's theory (Primitive Marriage, especially
p. 75 ff.) that once all the peoples of the world were exogamous owing
to girl-killing, all tribes and hordes muft then have done away
with their daughters-an unexampled piece of nonsense. As an
opposite example, the Abipones of Paraguay may be named, who






THE MAID
redeemer nor a world-shaker, but Samsarahetu, the source
of the world ", the cause of the Sansara, in which, as the
Indian says, pleasure, and above all the pleasure of love, is
but pain. The birth of a daughter is in general not an objeCt
of his wishes. Thus xii, 243.20, says : The eldest brother is
the same as the father, wife and son are a man's own body,
his servants are the man's shadow, the daughter is the bitterest
woe." And i, 159.11 : "The son is his very self, the wife
a friend, but the daughter is known for a misfortune." 1 We
can thus well understand that among the dreadful omens boding
the many deaths in the fight between the Kauravas and the
Pand.avas, this one, too, appears: Many women will bear
four and tive girls "-and probably at one birth (vi, 3.7).
Not to mention anything else, it is only the son who can bring
his forbears that offering so absolutely needed for happiness
in the other world. With a daughter this can only be done
indirectly-through her sons. And that is always an unsure
thing. For against wedding with such a maiden advice is given
by the Epic (xiii, 44.15), as also by the Smriti or law literature.2
But whatever the event, the important thing is to marry the
girl off fittingly. And here there lies a source of sorrow for
the parents. Thus in v, 97.15, I6, we hear the wretched father
of the marriageable daughter call out Shame on the coming
of a daughter into the house of men of strong character, who
are distinguished, praiseworthy, and of kind disposition. The
mother's kindred, the father's, and they to whom she is given-
three families-are brought to danger by the daughter of

mainly killed the boys, as a wife had to be bought for them, while
the girls could be profitably disposed of. Finck, Primitive Love,
p. 58. marriage by purchase, not very honourable in itself, has yet
been of much effect in enhancing the value of daughters and wife.
1 Cf. Weber's Indische Studien, v, p. 260, 265; Windisch,
Buddhas Geburt, etc., p. 60 ; Winternitz, Gesch. d. ind. Liter., i, 184;
(ukraniti (ed. Oppert), iii, 520-3 ; Otto Stein, Megaslhenes u.
Kauti,'.c. (Vienna, 1921), 68, note 3; J. J. Meyer, Kautilya,
480.3-4 ; addit. 480.37 ; also Schrader, Die Indogermanen, o0 f. ;
Feift, Ku.'tur, Ausbreitung u. Herkunft d. Indogermanen (1913),
p. 18 ; 299 f.
SMlanu, iii, I ; Gautama, xxviii, 20; Yajfiavalkya, i, 53.







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
good men." For no one knows how things will go, whether
the bride will lead a good life, or bring happiness.1 What,
indeed, shows itself most is the anxiety whether a bridegroom
will be found who will do honour through his blood, character,
and so forth. This is what we often find in the Mahabhhrata,
and so, for instance, Ram., vii, 9.I0-11 : "To be the father
of a daughter is an affliction for him that seeks after honour,
and no one knows who will (or shall) take a maiden to his house ;
thus it is, O daughter. The mother's kindred, the father's, and
they to whom she goes in marriage-three families are brought
ever into danger by a daughter." Essentially the same thought
is uttered by a harassed father who goes about trying to find a
husband for his daughter, in the 12th sarga, ql. 11-12. It is
well known that in India often the whole family will ruin
itself in the endeavour to find a thoroughly good match for the
daughter, and give her a wedding befitting its sanding.2
Having regard to all the evils brought down by a daughter,
we very easily understand why the Hindu often hails her
without much joy. But the love for children, which is so
strong in the Indian, is also felt towards her, and so Bana
very finely declares that the parents are saddened at the birth
of a girl, as they think of the day when a bridegroom will rob
them of the loved one.3 And little light as the Epic throws on
1 Cp. Jdt.,Nos. 102, 217 (it is not known how the daughter bids to
fare in the husband's house). An eloquent description of the sorrows
and woes a daughter gives her parents from birth, on account of her
marriage, is to be found in Bose, TAe Hindoos as They Are (1881),
p. 219 ff.; Bulloram Mullick, Home Life in Bengal, p. o18 ff.
2 This costs at least 200 dollars in the upper classes (Ramabai
Sarasvati, p. 12), and even the peasant weddings are dear (cp. Sir B.
Fuller, Studies of Indian Thought and Sentiment, London, 1910,
p. 55 f.). On the Rajput see especially Tod, Rajaflhan, i, p. 672 ff.
3 Harshacarita, translated by Cowell and Thomas, p. 122. A
beautiful picture is given in MBh., iii, 32.60-63: King Drupada
has his sons taught the prudent way of life by a wise Brahman who
lives as a gueft in his house. The father sits there, and when his little
daughter comes with any message or errand he lifts her up onto his
lap, and she liftens eagerly to the teacher's words. He then speaks
coaxing words to her, and the little girl, to supplement these crumbs
she has caught up, gets from her brothers a repetition of the master's







THE MAID
the life of the unwedded girl, yet we may take to be true for
the Epic world what is told us of the happy time spent by the
Indian girl before she goes to her husband's house in, for
inS-ance, Ramabai Sarasvati, The High Caste Hindu W/oman
(London, 1890), p. 23, and the far too romantic Sifter Nivedita,
The Web of Indian Life (London, I906),p. 35. Thus we
read of the merry game which the girls enjoyed in the evening
in the pleasure groves (Ram., ii, 67.17 ; cf. 71.22). The
ball-game of the grown-up girls, often referred to in the
Classical literature, and described at such length in the
Daqakumaracaritam (p. 290 ff. of my translation), is also found
in the Epic. C(nta plays ball in iii, 111.16. The small girls,
too, amuse themselves in this way (v, 90.63). The balls used
would seem to have been very finely coloured, at any rate those
of the upper classes (iii, II2.io).1 Bhishma declares:
"The son is as one's very self; the daughter is like the
son. How could it be, so long as she is alive, that any other
should have the property ? (xiii, 45.11). Then he sets forth

wisdom, doubtless told very solemnly. How greatly the daughter is
loved is described, too, e.g. in Leumann, Die Nonne, ein Roman aus
d. alten Indien, strophe 107 ff., 125 ff., 423 ff.; Kupabai
Satthianadhu, Kamala (Leipzig, 1898), p. 120. Of the Rajput
we are told by James Tod, Rajafshan (Annals and Antiquities of
Rajaslhan, first popular ed., Calcutta), that there are few among even
the lowest of the chiefs whose daughters are not taught to read and
write (i, p. 676). So, too, Shib Chunder Bose, The Hindoos as They
Are, p. 226. But see, for instance, Ramabai Sarasvati, p. 57.
1 How the ball-game befitted the fascination of a young girl, and
how she strengthened her conquest by it is to be gathered, too, from
Bhagavata-Purana. viii, 12.15 ff.: Rudra or (iva comes on a visit
to Vishnu. The latter by his Mays (magic) calls up a bewitchingly
fair maiden. who plays at ball, and whose garments are carried off
by the wind. Although Civa's wife is beside him he rushes up to the
charmer and then goes after her as she wrests herself from his grip;
in the pursuit er'.e.,7 ejus ejicitur. It goes, of course, without saying
that in the Epic the girl plays with dolls. But when Hopkins, because
Uttara (till took pleasure in this at the time of her marriage, concludes
she wa ,till in her childhood, he makes a mistake. Cf. Billington,
ll'o'a, in rIndia. p. 215; Crivara's Kathakautukam, Sanskrit and
German by R. Schmidt, vi, 15, 48, 69.







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
that the mother's own portion falls to the lot of the girl ; the
property shall be inherited by the daughter's son from the
father that has no sons. For he bestows the ancestral food-cakes
for his own father and for his mother's father. In law there is
no difference between one's own son and the daughter's son.
The daughter, too, takes precedence of the son that is born
elsewhere, that is, who is not the son of the body ; according to
the commentary, she takes three-fifths of the estate. So we
find in xiii, 47.25 f. : That which was given by her father
to the wife from the Brahman caste, O Yudhishthira, shall
be taken by the daughter. For she is equal to the son." 1

1 There is no diRtinaion between son's son and daughter's son
(Manu, ix, 130; Vishnu, xv, 47). If there are no sons, and also the
mother is dead, then the daughter inherits the father's property, and
no one else; for she is sprung from his body just like the son
(Narada, xiii, 50; Brihaspati, xxv, 55 ff. ; Yajfiavalkya, ii, 135 f. ;
Vishnu, xvii, 4 ff.). But cp. Apaftamba, ii, 6, 14, 2-6; Gautama,
xxviii, 21 ff.; Vasishtha, xvii, 8I ff.; Manu, ix, 185 ff. (and Bohler's
notes on it, SBE, xxv, p. 365). So the Mahanirvanatantra, xii, 36,
flates that the daughter of the man without wife or son gets the
father's inheritance, even if there is 'a brother of the father's; and
according to 55 the daughter-in-law or the granddaughter inherits
before the dead man's own father. According to Vishnu, xviii, 34 f,
the mother and the unmarried daughter get a share of the man's
estate according to the son's share (putrabhaganusarena), that is
to say, exacly so much as the sons who are equal to them in the caRe
have the right to inherit, an arrangement, therefore, which provides
for a testator with wives of differing castes, and probably only for one
without a son. If the father share out his estate himself, then according
to Narada, xiii, 13, the unwedded daughter receives as much as the sons
between the eldeR and youngeR. But cp. Brihaspati, xxv, 64 ; Manu,
ix, I 18 ; Yajfiav., ii, 124 (the brothers must give the unwedded sifters
a fourth part of their own share). According to Yaska's Nirukta, iii, 4,
the children inherit equally, regardless of sex (see Biihler's Manu,
p. Ixi). The woman's estate or mother's own property (ftridhana,
yautuka) falls to her daughter. Vishnu, xvii, 18 ff.; Gautama, xxviii,
24 ; Baudhayana, ii, 2, 3, 43 ; Yjiiavalkya, ii, 143-5 ; Agnipurana,
transl. by Manmatha Nath Dutt, p. 925, etc. Cp., too, especially
Manu, ix, I30-9; J. J. Meyer, Uber das Wesen d. altind. Rechts-
schriften u. ihr Verhditnis zu einander u. zu Kautilya (Leipzig,
1927), p. 73 ff.






THE MAID
The sight of pretty and well-dressed girls and being greeted
by them with festal honour brings good luck if one is minded
to take an important step (vii, 82.22 ; cp. 7.9 ; 112.62 ff.;
xiii, 11.14). Eight girls are named as important objects of
good luck on the occasion of the preparations for consecrating
Rama as crown-prince (Ram., ii, 14.36) ; and when at laSt
he comes back from exile and marches to his solemn consecration
as king, there go before him, as bringing weal: unhusked
corn, gold, cows, young girls, and Brahmans, as also men with
sugar-cakes in their hands ; and in his sprinkling or initiation
into the rank of prince, maidens also take a part, sixteen in
number, as the commentator points out (Ram., vi, I28,
c1. 38, 62 ; cp. MBh., v, 140, 14 f.).1 And like other Indian
literature the Mahabhlrata shows how a man can get a daughter.
According to xiii, 87.10, this is brought about through the
ancestral offering on the second day of the dark half of the
month. There is other information in xiii, 104.151 ; iii,
83.190. See also xiii, 83.51 ; i, 16.12 (a daughter is longed
for). This we shall speak of later.
We find even quite spoiled daughters. Thus i, 76 ff., tells
us : The gods and the Danavas fight with one another for
leadership. Qukra, the sacrificial priect of the Danavas, knows
the charm for bringing back life, and keeps on calling back
to life the Danavas who fall in the fight. The sacrificial prieSt
of the gods, Brihaspati, cannot do this. So the heaven-dwellers
are at a great drawback. They induce Kaca, Brihaspati's young
son, to go and be a disciple of (ukra, by telling him 'Thou
and no other, canrt win favour with Devayani, the beloved
daughter of this high-minded one. When once thou haht
gladdened Devayani through a virtuous charadler, skill,
friendliness, right living, and self-control, then thou wilt of
a surety win this charm for awakening the dead.' (ukra takes
him. So as to win the favour of both, the youth would ever
1 In the body of the wedded and the unwedded woman alike there
dwells, too, Q(ri, the goddess of happiness and beauty (Vishnu, xcix,
14), and girls and women also turn aside the "evil eye" (drishti-
parihara). Cf. Edgar Thurston, Omens and Supersfitions of Southern
India (1912), pp. I5-17, 23, II8. To see women is lucky according
to MBh., ix, 56, 24 f.






SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
gladden Devaymni with singing, dancing, and music. He
waited on the maiden, who was in her youth, and rejoiced her
with flowers, fruits, and services. Devayani, too, secretly gave
careful heed to this Brahman youth who zealously carried out
vows and holy works, as she sang and trifled before him."
The Danavas, however, saw him in the forest as he was herding
his teacher's cows, questioned him, and killed and cut him up,
and gave him to the wolves to eat, all out of enmity towards
Brihaspati, and in order that the magic for bringing back to
life, so useful to them, should not become known to the gods.
The cows came back in the evening without their herd.
Devayani saw this, and said to her father : Evidently Kaca
has been killed or has died. Without him I do not want to
live ; I swear it thee." Qukra made use of his spell for bringing
back to life : Kaca broke out of the wolves' bellies, and showed
himself hale and whole before the teacher and his daughter.
On another day DevayanT sent him into the forest to bring
flowers. The Danavas crushed him, and. mixed him up with the
sea's waters. And again the teacher called him back to life.
But the third time the foes ground him to powder, put it in
brandy-wine, and gave the mixture to Qukra to drink. Devayani
spoke and said : Kaca went forth on my service to bring
flowers, and he is no longer to be seen. Clearly he has been
slain or is dead. Without Kaca I will not live; that I swear
unto thee." The father put it to her that she need not take
so much thought of Kaca, since she had the choice of Brahmans,
gods, and demons. The luckless fellow, he said, is indeed
always being killed. But she exclaimed : He is chaste, and
greatly ascetic, always ready and skilled in all contrivances.
I shall follow Kaca, and hunger myself to death. I love the
handsome Kaca." So it came to yielding, and her father began
his spell. But now came the quandary : the disciple had to
obey, and yet could not ; for he could not come out of the
teacher's belly without, at the same time, bringing death on
him. This the anguished one brought to the teacher's know-
ledge in moving words, speaking from the wizard's body, and
telling him how he had been drunk down together with the
brandy-wine. Devayani knew no consolation : Two sorrows
burn me like fire : Kaca's death, and the annihilation






THE MAID
threatening thee. If Kaca dies then there is no salvation for
me ; and if thou art deStroyed, then I cannot live." But
Cukra found a way out : he initiated the disciple into the
magic spell, who broke out of the teacher's belly, and brought
back the dead man to life again with all speed. (ukra was
now filled with anger against the evil brandy-wine, that had
brought about the whole misfortune, and forbade it to the
Brahman for all time with great solemnity and under dreadful
threats of punishment. Kaca now wished to go back to the gods,
and took leave of the teacher. Devayani went to meet him and
besought him earnestly to wed her. But he had no wish to, and
came out of it by urging that she as his teacher's daughter, was
honourable in his sight, and, moreover, was now his sister,
since both of them had now abode in (ukra's body. The loving
girl, however, made answer : If thou dost scorn me for love
for virtue, although I have asked thee with tears, then this
magic knowledge will be nought in thine hands." He told her
that he was unwilling only because he would not offend against
the old holy laws, and since she had cursed him so unjustly
and unfoundedly, her wish would not be fulfilled : no son of a
Rishi would take her with him as wife.1 So he went back to
the gods, taught them the magic, and they were now made
happy. They then exhorted Indra to show his valour. He set
forth, but saw maidens bathing in the forest and playing in the
water. Then he changed himself into a wind, and tossed their
clothes about. When they came out of the water, they took
the wrong clothes. The bathing girls were Devayani and
(armishths, the daughter of the Daitya prince Vrishaparvan,
together with the princess's followers. (armishthi happened
to lay hold of the clothes of her friend, Devayani ; the latter
rebuked Carmishth : "Why art thou, my disciple, taking
my clothes ? Wicked girl, it will not go well with thee."
Carmishtha answered : Whether my father is sitting or
lying down, thy father as a court singer ever praises him, and stands
humbly far below. For thou art the daughter of him that
begs, that praises, that takes ; I am the daughter of him that is
praised, that grants, that never takes.2 Burn away, hurt
1 That is, no man of the Brahman carte.
2 Cp. Baudhayana's law book, ii, 2, 4.26 (= ii, 2.79-80).







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
thyself, be abusive, be angered, thou beggar Thou hast
nought, thou art weaponless, and art upset over her that is
armed, thou eater of alms. Thou shalt find someone who is a
match for thee; thou art nothing to me." 1 (armishtha,
bent on evil, threw Devaydni, who was in a rage of pride,2
and kept hold of the clothes, into a well, and went back to her
town, believing within herself : She is no more." Without
taking any more thought about her, she went into her house
filled with mad anger.
Then came thither Yayati, Nahusha's son, with a wearied
team, and wearied horses, hunting after game, and athirt.
Nahusha's son saw the waterless well and saw this maiden in
it, like a flame of fire. And when he had seen her he asked the
maiden, who was like a goddess, he the best among princes
asked her, as he reassured her with moft sweet and soft words :
" Who art thou, fair maid, with the red nails and shining
jewels and ear-rings ?3 Long and over-much haft thou been
given up to gloomy thoughts. And wherefore doft thou torture

1 In the MBh. the man of the warrior nobility is always declaring
that his kind does not ask and takes nothing ; grant me," he utters
of only one thing : of fighting. Only the Brahmans beg; begging is,
indeed, their faithful mate; but the Kshattriya owns and enjoys
that only which he has won with his own might. See, for instance, i,
92.13 f.; iii, 154.10; v, 75.23; 120.19; xii, 199.42, 74, 82, 112.
As here, so the warrior, times beyond telling, shows us in the MBh.,
how removed from the priestly class he feels himself, and how deeply
his lordly pride scorns it. For this cp., too, the excellent account of
Hopkins, JAOS, xiii, 151-62 ; Fick, Die soziale Gliederung, etc.,
51 ff., 64. But the nobility is left far and away behind by the mad
pretensions of the prieftly cafte, which has given the poem its present
form, and fully indemnifies itself through its one and only weapon-
the word, as the MBh. repeatedly points out. Indeed, it has, as is
well known, preached the taking of gifts as adually one of its good
works, and in xiii, 121.14, we read the pronouncement: The taker
wins the same merit as the giver ; for nothing rolls on one wheel, as
the holy seers know." It is only the bestower then, that owes thankful-
ness; he is given the chance to win high religious blessing by deeds.
2 Samucchraya. Cp. vi, 44.6, where, however, high-billowing
fight would also fit in, ard vi, 99.29, where the word = yuddha.
3 Or, ear-rings of precious stones.
14






THE MAID
thyself with care ? And how hasI thou fallen into this plant-
and grass-covered well ? And whose daughter art thou ?
Speak the truth, maiden with the lovely waist Devayani
spoke : I am that Cukra's daughter, he who brings back to life
again the Daityas slain by the gods. He knows of a surety
nothing about me. Here is my right hand with its red-nailed
fingers. Take me, and draw me out. For I know thou art of
noble birth. I can see in thee a man of calm soul, of bravery,
and of renown. Therefore mayest thou draw me, who have
fallen in here, out of this well." When the king, Nahusha's
son, had learned she was a Brahman's daughter, he took her by
the right hand and pulled her out of that pit. And when the
prince Yaysti had pulled her quickly out of this well, he took
his leave of the fair-hipped one, and went off to his town.
When Nahusha's son had gone, Devayani, the spotless one,
spoke, torn with grief, to her handmaid, Ghurnika, who had
come from the town: Ghirnika, go quickly and tell my
father : I shall not set foot now any more in the town of
Vrishaparvan.'" Ghurnika went quickly into the Asura's castle,
and when she saw Cukra she spoke to him with a soul filled
with emotion, told the very wise one that Devayiani had been
slain in the forest by Carmishtha, the daughter of Vrishaparvan.
When 9ukra heard that his daughter had been slain there in
the forest by Carmishtha, he hastened out filled with woe,
looking for his child. Then when (ukra had seen his daughter
in the forest, he clasped her in his arms and spoke the words :
"Through their own misdeeds (in an earlier being) all men do
compel happiness and unhappiness to themselves.1 I think
thou hast done some evil, and the punishment for it has been
thus infliCted." Devayani spoke : Never mind about punish-
ment Liten carefully to me : Is it true what (armishtha,
daughter of Vrishaparvan, said unto me ? She said thou wert
the singer of the Daityas. That is what I was told by
(9armishtha, Vrishaparvan's daughter, in sharp, bitter words,
with her eyes deep-reddened by anger: 'Thou art but the
SOr simply : bring on themselves. Niyacchati=get for oneself,
obtain, is often found in the MBh. (for instance, iii, 207.66; v,
64.19; 72.62; r6341 ; vii, 199.33 ; xii, 290.24; 307.40; xiii,
48.42 f. ; xiii, 57.21 ; 59.21 ; 143.51 ; xv, 34.8).
15






SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
daughter of him that praises ; that ever asks and accepts;
but I am the daughter of him that is praised, that bestows
and never accepts.' That is what (armishtha, Vrishaparvan's
daughter, said to me over and over again with anger-reddened
eyes and filled with pride. Father, if I am the daughter of
him that praises and accepts, then will I beg forgiveness of
(armishtha. That I have said to my friend." (ukra spoke :
"Thou art not the daughter of one that praises, that asks,
that accepts ; the daughter thou art of one that praises not, of
one that is praised, Devayani. Vrishaparvan knows that, and
Indra and King Yayati. For the Brahman that is beyond all
thinking and has nothing twofold is my kingly power.' And
whatever there be anywhere in heaven and earth," I am ever
proclaimed as its lord by the rejoicing, self-sprung being
(Brahma). I make the water to flow for the weal of creatures,
I make all plants to grow. This truth I swear unto thee."
Thus in friendly wise did the father speak in sweet, gentle
words to this girl that had fallen into doubt, that was tortured
with indignation: Let that human being, that bears ever
with patience the taunting speech of others, know, O Devayani,
that he has won this All. He that bridles his rising anger, like
a teed, that one is called a leader by the good, not he who pulls
at the horse's reins. He that drives forth his rising anger by
his freedom from anger, know, O Devayani, that such a one
has overcome this All. He that throws off his rising anger by
a mild patience, as the snake does its old skin, such a one is
indeed called a man. He that holds his ill-humour in check,
he that calmly bears evil report, and he that, when he is
tormented, does not torment, such a one is indeed a vessel of
profit. If one man, month by month through a hundred years,
without wearying, makes sacrifice, and another is not angered
by anything (or : against anyone), then of the two he that is
not angered is the greater. If boys and girls heedlessly weave
enmity, the wise man shall not imitate them ; for they do not
know what strength and weakness is." Devayani spoke:
1 Or : for the holy knowledge beyond all thought is my lordship
and strength (or, warlike power) without rival. Cp. xii, 141.64.
2 Or, less likely: and that which in heaven and on earth is the
everywhere existing something (" the thing-in-itself").






THE MAID
" Father, though I am but a young girl, yet I know what the
difference is on earth between the duties. And as to not being
angered, and as to speech, I know what strength is and what
weakness is. But that a pupil should bear himself unlike such,
that, indeed, none should suffer who would fain be of any worth.
Therefore it pleases me not to dwell among such as bring the
rightful way into confusion, for the wise man striving after his
weal shall not dwell among ill-minded folk that by their
behaviour and origin are a sumbling-block unto others. But
those that by their behaviour and origin grant him acknowledg-
ment, among good men such as these shall he dwell; this
is called the best abode. The dreadful evil, spoken by
Vrishaparvan's daughter in her words, tears my heart, as he that
seeks tire tears the kindling-wood. For I deem nothing in
the three worlds to be harder than to look, when robbed of
fame and happiness, on the fame and happiness of the rival.
Death is the best thing for such a one, as those that know
acknowledge."
Thereupon Cukra, the best among the race of the Bhrigus,
went, ill-pleased, and, without further thought, spoke as follows
to Vrishaparvan on his throne: "The evil that has been
done does not at once bring forth its fruit, like the earth
(gaur iva); slowly rolling along, it gnaws at the roots of the doer.
In the sons and grandsons, if he does not feel it in himself,
the evil, of a surety, makes itself known, like something heavy
which a man has eaten, in the body.1 Since thou didsW kill
the Brahman Kaca then, the Angiras who did no evil, who knew
virtue, was obedient, and rejoiced in my family, because of the
murder of that innocent one and because of the murder of my
daughter-hear me, O Vrishaparvan-I leave thee and thy
kindred. I cannot dwell together with thee in thy kingdom, O
king. Ah thou takeHs me for an empty chatterer, O Daitya,
that thou don't not hold back from this sin of thine, but dost
look on it calmly." Vrishaparvan spoke : I know of no evil
and no empty words in thee, O son of Bhrigu ; in thee do dwell
righteousness and truth. Therefore grant us mercy and forgive-
ness. If thou leaves us and goesi forth, we shall leap into the
sea, we have no other refuge." (ukra spoke : "Leap into
I Cp. xii, 91.21 ; 95.17-18; 139.22; Manu, iv, 172-3.






SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
the sea, or flee in all directions of the heavens, O ye Asuras !
I can brook no insult to my daughter, for I love her. Soften
the heart of DevayniT, in whom my life is wrapped, and I will
bring thee welfare and peace, as Brihaspati did to Indra."
Vrishaparvan spoke: "All that the princes of the Asuras have on
earth to hold, all their elephants, cattle, and horses, of these all
thou art the lord, and also of me." (ukra spoke : If I am
lord of whatsoever the Daitya princes own, O great Asura,
then let DevayanT be appeased." Thus addressed, Vrishaparvan
spoke : So let it be The son of Bhrigu, he the great wise
one, went to DevayanT and explained this matter to her.
Devayani spoke : I will not believe it from thee that thou art
lord over the king's possessions, but the king himself must
say it." Vrishaparvan spoke : "Whatever thou dost wish,
O bright-smiling one, that will I give thee, even if it be sore
hard to get." DevayanT spoke : I wish for (armishtha
as my slave together with a thousand girls, and she shall follow
me wheresoever my father gives me in marriage." Vrishaparvan
spoke : Arise, go, O nurse, and quickly bring (armishthd
hither. And whatever the bidding of Devayani, that shall she
do." Thereupon the nurse went away and spoke the words to
(armishthd : Arise, dear (armishtha, and bring happiness
to thine. The Brahman is indeed wont to dismiss his pupils,
if Devaymni urges him to it. Whatever DevayanT bids of thee,
that thou must now do, O kindly one." (armishthd spoke :
" Whatever her bidding, that will I now do, if (ukra so calls
on me for the sake of DevayinT. (ukra shall not go forth
through my fault, nor shall DevaynTi because of me." There-
upon in her mildness, at her father's bidding, with a thousand
girls about her she hastily left the fair city. (armishtha spoke :
" I am thy slave with a thousand slave-girls, thy servant. I
will follow thee, wheresoever thy father gives thee in marriage."
Devayani spoke : I am for thee the daughter of him that
praises, begs, accepts. How can it be that the daughter of him
that is praised becomes the slave ? (armishth, spoke : By
whatever the means, well-being must be found for the afflicted
kindred. Therefore will I follow thee wheresoever thy father
gives thee in marriage."
When Vrishaparvan's daughter had promised to be a slave,






THE MAID
DevayanT spoke to her father the words: "I will go unto
the city, O father ; I am satisfied, O best among the twice-
born. Thy knowledge and the power of thine art is not for
nothing." 1 Thus addressed by his daughter, the greateSt
among the Brahmans, the very famous one, went, rejoiced and
honoured by all the Danavas, into the city.
Some time later Devayani of the lovely face went into that
selfsame forest to play. Together with these thousand slave-
girls and Carmishtha she came there to that selfsame spot
and wandered about to her heart's desire, accompanied by all
these followers, filled with great joy, as all played merrily,2
drank sweet headydrinks, ate cakes of many kinds,and partook of
fruits. And once again there happened to come hunting this
way Nahusha's son, the king, craving for water, and worn
out with weariness. He saw Devayani and Carmishtha and
these fair young girls drinking and sporting, decked with god-
like ornaments. And he saw Devayni of the bright smile, the
woman above others, of incomparable form, sitting among these
maidens, waited on by Carmishtha, who was rubbing her feet
and doing other services. Yayati spoke: "Two maidens
surrounded by two thousand maidens I ask family and
name of both of you, O fair ladies." Devayani spoke:
" I will tell thee. Hearken unto my words, O Prince of
men Cukra is the name of the teacher of the Asuras. Know
then, that I am his daughter. And she there is my friend and
slave who follows me everywhere-Carmishtha, the daughter
of the king of the Danavas, Vrishaparvan." Yayati spoke :
" But how comes it that this fair-faced maiden, the daughter of
the Asura king, she with the lovely brows, is thy friend and
slave ? I am very curious as to this." Devay.ni spoke : Every
one, O best of men, obeys his fate. Look on it as the gift of
fate, and do not make divers speeches. Thy form and garb
are as those of a king, and thou speaker the speech of the
Brahmans (Sanskrit). Who and whence art thou, and
whose son ? Tell me." Yayati spoke : As a pupil of the
Brahmans I have heard the whole Veda, I am a king and a
I Or: Thy worldly knowledge is not for nothing, and thou ha l
the pow er of the holy teaching (or : of magical knowledge).
2 Perhaps more nearly : as all found their pleasure in play.







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
king's son, famous under the name of Yayati." Devayani
spoke: Why didst thou come this way ? Wouldst thou
take something dwelling in the water, or hunt the gazelle ? "
YaySti spoke : While hunting gazelle, O kindly one, I came
hither for water. But now thou haft well questioned me.1
Give me leave, therefore, to go." Devaymni spoke : With
two thousand girls and my slave Carmishtha I am at thy
bidding. Prithee, be my friend and my husband." YaySti
spoke : Know thou, O daughter of Uqana, an it please thee,
I am not worthy of thee, O lovely one. For thy father cannot
be father-in-law to kings." Devayani spoke : "The warrior
nobility is closely bound to the Brahmans, the Brahmans are
linked with the warrior nobility. Come now, son of Nahusha,
do thou wed me as a Rishi and a Rishi's son." Yayati spoke :
Although the four castes, O fair woman, come from one body,
yet have they varying duties and varying rules for purity;
of them the Brahman is the first Devayani spoke : Such
a hand-grasp (as thine) men have not so far practised. Thou
didst grasp my hand before, therefore do I ask of thee to be my
husband. How should another now touch the hand of me, the
proud one, the hand that has been grasped by thee, the son of
a Rishi, and a Rishi himself Yayati spoke: As more
dangerous than an angry, flaming, venomous snake, everywhere
darting, must the Brahman be recognized by the understanding
man." Devayani spoke: Why sayet thou, O prince of
men : More dangerous than a flaming, venomous snake,
everywhere darting, is the Brahman ? Yayati spoke : The
venomous snake kills one man, and with a weapon one man
alone is slain ; the Brahman destroys even cities and
kingdoms, when he is angered. Therefore do I hold the
Brahman as more dangerous, O timid one. And therefore I
will not wed thee, unless thy father gives thee to me."
Devayani spoke : Wed me, then, O king, when my father
has given me thee, and I have chosen thee. For him that asks
not, and only takes her that is given him, there is no danger."
Quickly the nurse then faithfully told Devaydni's father all
that Devayini had entrusted her with for him. And so soon as
1 Or : But I am very pressed (I have urgent business: bahudhapy
anuyukto 'smi). The expression is'found several times in the MBh.
20






THE MAID
the scion of the Bhrigu had heard, he appeared before the king.
And when YaySti, the lord of the earth, saw (ukra coming,
he showed honour unto the Brahman, the son of Kavi, and
stood there with folded hands, humbly bowed. Devayani
spoke : This, O father, is the king, son of Nahusha. When I
was in evil plight, he clasped my hand. Honour be to thee.
Give me to him. I will choose no other husband in the world."
Q(ukra spoke : Chosen by this my beloved daughter, take
her for thy chief wife; I give her thee, O son of Nahusha."
Yay'ti spoke : May this great hurt done to the law that
comes from the mingling of the castes not be avenged here on
me, O scion of the Bhrigu. On this condition I take thee, O
Brahman, as father-in-law." Cukra spoke : I absolve thee
from the hurt to the law. Choose for thyself a favour thou
would.t have. Do not be despondent on account of this mar-
riage.' I will drive the evil away from thee. Take thou the
slender Devayani home as thy wife according to the law and
custom, and with her win incomparable joy. And this maiden,
too, Vrishaparvan's daughter, (armishths, shalt thou always
honour, O king; and do not call her onto thy bed." Thus
addressed, King Yayati walked round Cukra to the right, and
celebrated the happy wedding in the way laid down by the
books of instru&ion. After he had got from (ukra many things
and the most splendid Devayani, together with two thousand
girls and Carmishtha, and had been honoured by (ukra and
the Daityas, the best of princes came into his city, filled with
joy, having taken leave of the high-minded one."
The good daughter whom we have just seen in (armishthd
we find also elsewhere. It is now the turn of a Brahman, with
whom the five fugitive Pandava youths are living, to offer
himself to an evil Rakshasa. The latter must be given every
day a cartload of rice to eat, the two oxen drawing it, and the
man driving them. After the wife has offered to die for the
Brahman, it goes on (i, 159) :-
When the daughter heard the words of the over-
whelmingly saddened parents, she spoke unto them, her body
clasped in grief: 'Why do ye weep as bitterly as those beyond
I Literally : at this marriage thou shalt not wilt, that is, probably :
do thou not be weary, have no fear.






SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
hope, tortured by a mighty sorrow ? Liften unto my words
and then do what is befitting. By all that is right, ye two shall
give me up ; of that there is no doubt. By giving me, who do
consent, thou shalt save all through me, a single person. This
is why offspring are wished for : 'They shall save me.' Since
now the time for it has drawn nigh, cross, with me as the vessel,
over the misfortune. Here and after death he must rescue from
danger. In every way the son must sacrifice himself. That is
why he is called son by the wise.' And the ancestors yearn
ever for daughter's sons from me. So will I myself save them
by shielding my father's life. But if thou goest into that
world, then this my small brother will soon perish ; of that there
is no doubt. And if my father should have come into heaven,
and my younger brother gone to desruCtion, then the gift of
cakes for the ancestors would be cut short ; and that would
be a misfortune for them. Robbed thus of my father, and of
my mother and brother, I should surely die, falling from one
sorrow into a greater, for I am not used to such things as this.
But if thou hast escaped, safe and sound, then assuredly my
mother and brother, the child and the family line, and the
offering to the forbears will be preserved and kept. The son is
the very self, the wife a friend, but, as all know, the daughter is
ever a misfortune (kricchra). . But if I carry out the liberation,
then my death will bear fruit, after I have carried through
a very heavy task. But if thou goest thither, O best among
Brahmans, and dost leave me behind, then shall I be in straits ;
therefore look, too, to me. Save thyself for our sake, and for
the sake of religious duty, and for the sake of the offspring, and
give up me, who am ready for it. And now let not the time
go by for this most necessary deed. Indeed, what greater
misfortune could there be than that we, after thy going home,
should run round like dogs begging food from strangers ? But
if thou and our kinsfolk are set free from this calamity, sound
and unhurt, then I shall live in happiness, as one that has not
died in the world. As a result the gods will work well-being
because of the sacrifices, and, as we have heard, so will the

1 This is how I try to render the etymological word-play that is
found countless times : puttra from put + tra.






THE MAID
ancestors for the sake of the water-offering brought
by thee." 1
In the Ramayana, in the I7th Sarga of the 7th Book, we
read: "Thereupon Rdvana, the Strong-armed, wandered
over the earth, and when he had come into the wilderness of
Himavant, he went about in it. Then he saw a maiden wearing
a black antelope-skin and penitent's tresses, taken up with the
work of the holy ones (asceticism), and shining like a goddess.
When he saw this maiden with the gift of beauty engaged in
very heavy mortification, he laughed a little, and with senses
blinded by love he asked : Wherefore dost thou do this work,
that is in discord with thy youth ? For it does not befit thee
thus to at against this beauty. Thy peerless beauty, O timid
one, which arouses mad love among men, is not there to the
end that thou shouldst be given up to mortification. That is an
evident conclusion. Whom dost thou belong to ? Wherefore
this task ? And who is thy husband, thou with the fair face ?
Whoever enjoys thee, he is a happy man on earth. Tell me all
I ask. Wherefore the weariness ? Thus addressed by Ravana
the glorious maiden spoke, after she, the penitent, had shown him
due and proper hospitality: Kugadhvaja was the name of
my father, the Brahman Rishi of boundless fame, the majestic
son of Brihaspati, equal in soul to Brihaspati. To this high-
minded one, ever given up to Veda study, I was born as daughter
out of his words, and Vedavati is the name I bear. Then there
came gods and Gandharvas, Yakshas, and Rakshasas, and snake-
demons to my father and deigned to woo me. But my father
did not give me to them, O Rakshasa prince. I will tell thee why.
Hearken, O strong-armed one. My father would fain have
Vishnu, the lord of the three worlds, as son-in-law. There-
fore my father would give me to no other. But when the
prince of the Daityas, (ambhu his name, heard of this, he was
angry with him who boasted his might. This villain did evil to
my father in the night, as he slept. Then my excellent mother,
I read nal instead ofna. The text, after the commentator, means :
But if thou doft say: "We have heard that the gods and ancestors,
when there is such an offering (of the daughter by her own father),
do not work well-being," (then I say) they do assuredly work well-
being through the water-offering made by thee."







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
deep stricken, clasped my father's body, and went thus into the
fire. With the resolve : I will make this wish of my father's,
directed to Narayana, a true thing," I carry this god now in
my heart. Now that I have undertaken this vow I am carrying
out a mighty penance. With this I have told thee all, O
Rakshasa prince. Narayana will be my husband, and none but
Purushottama. Thus I am giving myself up to dreadful ascetic
vows in the yearning for Narayana. I know thee, O king.
Go, son of Paulastya. Through my asceticism I know all
that is in the three worlds." Rivana spoke once more to the
maiden in the midst of her heavy penance, climbing down
from his chariot of the gods and stricken with the dart of love :
" Thou art haughty, O fair-hipped one, to cherish such a
resolve. The storing up of virtuous merit is something praise-
worthy for old folk, O gazelle-eyed one. But thou, O timid
one, that art favoured with every gift, and art the beauty of
the three worlds, muSt not speak thus. Thy youthful bloom
is fleeting. I am the prince of Lafrka, dear one, famed under
the name of Daqagriva. Come, be my wife ; take thy fill of
pleasures as thy heart may wish. And who is he thou callers
Vishnu ? In valour, asceticism, wealth, strength, O dear one,
he is not my equal, whom thou, O fair one, yearneft after."
But as he thus spoke, this maiden Vedavati made answer to the
night-spirit : No, do not speak thus Who with any under-
standing but thee, O Rakshasa prince, could wish to scorn
Vishnu, the overlord of the three worlds, held in honour by
the whole world ? Thus addressed by Vedavati, the night-
spirit clutched the maiden by the hair with his fingers. Then
Vedavati, filled with anger, cut off her hair with her hand ;
her hand became a sword, and cut the hair away. As though
aflame with wrath, as though burning up the night-spirit,
having laid a fire, she spoke, filled with haste to die : Since
shame has been put on me by thee, thou base one, I will not
live. O Rakshas, that is why I go before thine eyes into the fire.
Since I have had shame put on me by thee, evil-minded one,
in the forest, therefore will I be born again to thy destruCtion.
For a woman cannot slay the man bent on evil. And should I
utter my curse on thee, then my mortification would come to
nought. But if I have won any merit through deed, gift, and
24






THE MAID
sacrifice, so may I as the fruit of it become the good daughter,
not born of mother's womb, of a pious man." As soon as she
had spoken thus, she went into the glowing fire, and from the
sky there fell around a heavenly rain of flowers. And she was
born here as the daughter of King Janaka (as Sita from the
furrow)."
And in other ways, too, it is not always easy for the daughter
in the Old India of the Epic. So it is when a Brahman comes
as gueG' ; for this caste demands, especially in the Mahabhdrata,
the moGl humble services. In iii, 303 ff., we read :-
Once to King Kuntibhoja there came a Brahman, strong
as glowing fire, and very tall,1 with a moustache, a staff, and
plaits, lately, with faultless limbs, glowing, as it were, with
fiery G'rength, yellow as honey, a sweet speaker, decked with
asceticism and holy studies. This very great penitent spoke
to King Kuntibhoja "I wish to enjoy alms in thy house,
thou unselfish one. Nothing that is unpleasing to me
mu't be done to me, either by thee, or by thy followers.
Under these conditions I will dwell in thy house, thou blameless
one, if so it please thee. And I will go and come entirely at
my own will, and as to bed and seat none shall be remiss there-
with." To him spoke Kuntibhoja these kind and joyful words :
" So let it be, and it is right well." And again he spoke to him :
" I have a daughter, O wise man, Pritha her name ; glorious
is the fair one, attended by virtue and a surpassing life, kind and
dutiful.2 She will serve thee with reverence and without
disdain, and for her virtuous ways thou wilt be content with
her." When he had so spoken unto the Brahman, and had done
him honour as it is ordained, he went to the maiden Pritha
of the great eyes and spoke to her My child, this most
excellent Brahman wishes to dwell in my house, and I have
granted it him with a yea,looking confidently to thee for the con-
tentment of the Brahman. Therefore mayst thou never belie
my words. This is a holy penitent, a Brahman who is earnestly
set on the study of the Veda. Whatever the most powerful
one may ask must be ungrudgingly granted him. For the
Brahman is the highest power, the Brahman is the highest
1 Or : landing up high.
2 Or: self-controlled.
25






SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
asceticism ; it is through the honouring of Brahmans that the
sun shines in the sky. For as the great Asura Vdtapi did not
honour those worthy of honour, he was struck down by the
Brahman's staff,1 and Talajafgha likewise. With this a great
task is now set thee, my child ; do thou bring content to the
Brahman with constant heedfulness. I know, O daughter, thy
zealous regard for all Brahmans here and for the dignitaries and
kinsfolk, shown by thee from childhood days. So also doqt
thou show thyself towards all servants, towards friends, marriage-
kin, and thy mothers,2 and towards me in every relation,3
as is fitting. For there is none here in the city or in the women's
house, even among thy servants, whom thou dost not gladden
by rightful behaviour, thou maiden with faultless limbs. But
I thought I must give thee the reminder, O Pritha, as regards
the wrathful-minded Brahman, thinking: "Thou art a
child and Thou art my daughter ". Born in the family of
the Vrishnis, the beloved daughter of Q~ira, thou wast given me
formerly as a child by thy father himself, bound to me in
friendship, O thou sister of Vasudeva, thou the greatest of
my children, after he had promised me in the beginning the first-
born. Therefore thou art my daughter. Born in such a house,
and brought up in such a house, thou hast come from happiness
to happiness, as though thou hadst come from out of the sea into
the sea.4 People of bad family, who may somehow have known
special favour,5 do wrong things out of their foolishness,
especially women, O sweet one. Pritha, birth in a king's
family, and wonderful beauty are thine ; with the one and the
1 Brahmadanda. This expression is often found in the Epic, and
denotes the might of the Brahman (brahman), resting on the holy word
of the Veda (brahman); or, the magical, supernatural, destroying might,
at work in the curse. See, for example, i, 2.354; 30.11 ; 54.23,25
(Nil. is wrong here, in spite of 575) ; 57.24; ii, 5.122 ; 68.46;
v, 51.8 ; viii, 34.43 ; xii, 39.10 ; 103.27 ; xvi, 1.9 ; 3.40 (cp. 43 ;
8.8,25 ; Ram. vii, 36.20,30; i, 56.19.
2 Or: mother. Mothers is, of course, what all the king's wives
are called. She had not her real mother at all at Kuntibhoja's court.
3 Literally : filling everything, penetrating. Cp. v, 107.15-
4 Hradad dhradam ivagata. Cp. i, 195.11 ; v, 90.91,92 ; I34.I4
6 According to the commentator and B6htlingk (in the Dia.):
fall into stubbornness," which does not at all fit in.
26






THE MAID
other thou hast been made happy and endowed, O lovely one.
If thou shunned pride, deceit, and haughtiness, and bringeSt con-
tent to the grace-bestowing Brahman, thou wilt link thyself with
happiness, O Pritha. Thus, thou good one, thou wilt indeed
attain to goodness, O blameless one. And if the beS: of the
twice-born is angered, then my whole family will be
deSroyed."
Kunti spoke: "I will, O king, honourably serve the
Brahman with all heed, according to the promise, O lord of
kings, and I speak no untruth. And that is my charaAer, that
I honour the Brahmans. And I muSt do what is dear to thee,
and my greatest happiness. Whether the holy one comes at
evening or in the early morning or in the night or at midnight,
he will arouse no anger in me. It is a gain for me, O lord of
kings, to bring salvation to myself, O besi of men, through
honouring the Brahmans and faithfully carrying out thy
bidding. Thou canst have a calm trust, O lord of kings;
the beSt among the twice-born shall suffer nothing unpleasing
while he dwells in thy house ; that I swear unto thee. What is
pleasing to this Brahman and for thy good, O blameless one,
for that will 1 strive, O king. Let the fever in thy soul leave
thee. For the Brahmans, they marked out by destiny, can save
if they arc honoured ; and if not, then they can destroy.
Since 1 know this, I shall rejoice the besi among Brahmans.
Through me, O king, thou wilt suffer no harm from the
mof excellent of Brahmans. In case of a mistake, O prince
of kings, the Brahmans become a dearuction to kings, as did
Cyavana formerly to King (aryati, because of Sukanya.
With the greatest zeal will I serve the Brahman as thou didSt
say unto the Brahman." While the king clasped her in his
arms and exhorted her, as he repeatedly spoke thus, he told her
of all that was to be done in this way and that. The king
spoke : "Thus musl thou do it, without hesitation, dear one,
for the sake of my happiness, of thyself, and of the family,
O !tainless one."
But when Kuntibhoja, the greatly famed, had thus spoken,
he gave Pritha over to this Brahman, he the friend to Brahmans.
This, O Brahman, is my daughter, a child of tender breeding ;
if she makes a mistake in any wise thou musa not take it to







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
heart. The Brahmans, they marked out by defsiny, never in
general harbour anger againSt the aged, children and the
sick who may offend against them. Even when the sin is great
the twice-born must show a patient forgiveness. Accept thou
the honour shown to the best of her strength and powers,
O best among Brahmans." The Brahman agreed, and the
king with a glad heart allotted him a house, white as the swan
and the shimmering moon. There he offered him at the place
of the holy fire a shining seat made ready, food, and the like,
and all this just as it should be.1 But as the king's daughter
threw off weariness and likewise pride, she took the utmost
pains to please the Brahman. Thither to the Brahman Pritha
went, thinking only of purity, and rejoiced him, him worthy of
service, according to precept like a god. So did the maid living
under a strit vow now rejoice with pure soul the Brahman
living under a strit vow. Often the best of Brahmans spoke :
" I shall come in the morning," and then came back at evening
or in the night. And this maid did ever do honour to him at
all hours of the day with hard and soft foods and with comforts,
which both ever more excelled. The care given him with food
and the like, as also that for bed and seat, grew greater, not less,
day by day. And even though the Brahman might scold
Pritha, abuse her, and utter evil words against her, O king,
yet she did nothing then to annoy him. He would come back
again at different times, or often not at all, and of some dish
very hard to get he would say : Give it me And as she
brought him all this to his liking, so soon as it was made,
bearing herself well, like a scholar, a son, a sister, she aroused
heartfelt approval in the excelling Brahman, she the pearl of
maidens, the stainless one. The best of Brahmans was gladdened
at her virtuous ways ; then she took the very greatest pains 2
with ftill greater heed. At morning and evening her father
would ask her : Is the Brahman pleased with thy service,
1 Tathaiva "just so, mot excellently". Cp. idrica, tadriq, tatha-
vidha, tathabhuta "right; excellent," iii, 22r.6,9; v, 90.62;
ix, 2.62.
2 I will read bhuyasa instead of bhiyo syah. The text would mean
more or less : Thereupon he took the very greater pains in the utmost
measure about her.






THE MAID
daughter ? The glorious one would answer him : Very
much so." At that Kuntibhoja, the high-minded one, felt
the greatest joy. When, after a year had gone by, that best of
the prayer-mutterers had seen no evil deeds in Pritha, he was
delighted at her goodwill. Now when his heart had become
tilled with joy, the Brahman spoke to her "I am highly
rejoiced at thy services, thou dear and fair one ; choose gifts
of grace for thyself, O sweet one, such as are hard here on
earth for man to win, that so through them thou mayest
outshine all women in splendour." Kunti spoke : For me
all is fulfilled, since thou, O best among the knowers of the
Veda, and my father are sweet-minded towards me. What
should I do with gifts of grace, O Brahman ? The Brahman
spoke : If thou, kind, bright-smiling one, wishesf for no
gifts of grace from me, then take from me these words of
magic for calling up the heaven-dwellers. Whatsoever god
thou dost call up by this magic spell, he must be obedient to
thee ; whether he will or no, he will come up under the spell
of thy command ; tamed by the magic, the god will bow to
thee like a servant." The blameless one could not then refuse
the best of Brahmans a second time, fearing his curse. There-
upon the twice-born one made the maiden with the faultless
limbs take the set of words which stands in the Atharvaciras.
But when he had given it her, he spoke unto Kuntibhoja :
"I have dwelt pleasantly, O king, satisfied by the maiden,
ever well honoured, while I was lodged in thy house. Now
I will set forth." With these words he vanished. When the
king now saw the Brahman vanish before his very eyes, he
was overcome with astonishment, and did honour to Pritha.
Now when this best of the twice-born had for some reason
or other gone away, this maiden pondered on the power or
otherwise of the magic spell : What kind of spell has been
given me then by the high-minded one ? I will learn about
its strength in a short while. As she was thus thinking, she
happened to notice her monthly flow, and filled with shame was
the child, who was having the menses in her girlhood (for the
first time).1 Then she saw, who was used to a splendid couch, the
1 This shame is to be set down greatly to her credit. For the coming
of this event is for the Indian girl a source of pride and rejoicing, like







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
sun's disk rise, resting in the eat on the palace roof. The mind
and eyesof the slender one clung to it, and as the sun god was only
just rising she was not annoyed by the heat of his body. She was
granted the divine sight : she saw the god in his divine
manifefsation, wearing his armour, adorned with two ear-rings.
But she was curious as to her magic spell, and so the fair one
called on this god. As she then moistened her senses' tools
with water, she called on the maker of day ; he came swiftly,
honey-yellow, long-armed, muscular-necked, lightly laughing,
with rings on his arms, a crown on his head, making the lands
of the world, as it were, to blaze up. Splitting his own self by
magic into two parts, he came and brightly glowed. Then
he spoke to Kunti, with exceeding kind and friendly words:
I have become of service to thee, bound by thy magic spell,
my dear one. What am I to do, as thy vassal, O queen ?
Speak I will do it." Kunti spoke : Go thither, O sublime
one, whence thou cameat. It was out of curiosity that I called
thee. Be merciful to me, O lord." The sun god spoke : I
will go, even as thou hast bidden me, O slender one. But it is
not right to call on a god and send him away for a worthless

the sprouting of the moustache for the youth, and in this she is like he,
sisters among very many peoples. As almost everywhere on the earth,
the girl on the Ganges from her earliest years knows all about every
thing, and with her the coming of puberty excites a lively interest,
and is even hailed with much rejoicing. That most delightful thing
in the world-the maiden blossoming in sweet ignorance, and the half-
painful, half-joyful emotional billowing of her soul, wrapped in holy
and pure dream secrets-this, indeed, the Hindu does not know.
Still this most delicate, ethereal bloom of European culture is by no
means so very common among us, and, moreover, in our days under
sentence of death under the dazzling beams of the sun of sexual
knowledge "-poor, fairy-tale wonder of the moonlight night. Thus
no Hindu maiden could give utterance to such a fragrant delicacy of
feeling as we find expressed in the fairest puberty poem in the world
in Neidon valitus, the Maiden's Lament", of the Finnish poet
Eerikki Tickl6n, who died, all too young, in 1827 (cp. J. J. Meyer,
Fom Land der tausend Seen. Eine Ab~andlung iiber die neuere
finnische Literatur und eine Auswahl aus modernen finnischen
Novellifen (p. 33). The reader may be here reminded, too, of
Peter Hille's wonderful Brautseele.
30







THE MAID
whim. Thy intention is, O lovely one : May I get a son from
the sun god, one peerless in heroic strength, clad in armour,
decked with ear-rings. Give thyself, then, to me, thou with the
elephant's gait; for a son shall be born thee, such as thou
yearnest after, O woman. I will go then, when I have been
joined with thee, O thou with the lovely smile. If thou wilt
not do as I say, do what is dear to me,' then in my anger I
shall curse thee, and the Brahman, and thy father. Because of
thee I shall beyond a doubt engulf them all with fire, and thy
father, moreover, because he gave no heed to thy wrong
behaviour. And on that Brahman I shall deal out a hard
chatisement for giving thee the magic spell without knowing
thy character and ways. For all the gods in heaven there with
Indra at their head are witnesses to my having been tricked by
thee, and are smiling as it were, O lovely one. Look but at
those bands of the gods, for thou haSt that divine sight which
I firS granted thee and whereby thou haft seen me." Then
the king's daughter saw all the thirty-three (gods) at their
stations in the air, bright as the dazzling, shining, great sun
god. When the young maiden, the queen, saw them, she spoke
these words, abashed and fearful, to the sun god : Go, pray,
lord of the beams, unto thy heavenly chariot. It was from my
maidenly nature that the disastrous mistake arose.2 Father and
mother and any other dignitaries there may be have the power to
betow this body. I will not do hurt to law and virtue ; in the
world the safe keeping of the body is held in honour as the
virtuous way of woman's life. It was to try the might of the
magic spell that I called thee, O shining one. From childish
want of understanding the child did it,' is what thou mayeft
think,3 and forgive me for this, O my lord." The sun god
spoke: Since I think that it is a child, I will utter unto
thee friendly words; no other would get such mild words.
1 Literally perhaps: If thou dofs not make my dear words true,"
which v.ould remind us of Homeric expressions, or in which dear "=
pleasant, friendly.
2 Cp. v, 144.22 ; xv, 30.9.
3 Tat kritva oftenerr, itikritvd. i, 34.3 ; 7.17; iii, i8.9; 208.17;
302.4; 303.22 306.25 ; iv, 20.3 f.; xiv, 19.78; xv, 9.8; evam
kri, iii, 138.25. See also xii, 318.32.
31







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
Give thyself to me, Kunti girl, and thou wilt find peace, O
timid one. And it is not fitting for me that I should go forth
as one that has been wrongly treated, without having been
united with thee, O timid fair one, after being called up by a
spell. I shall fall a victim to laughter in the world, O maiden
with faultless limbs, and to all the gods, O lovely one, I should
be blameworthy. Unite thyself with me ; thou shalt get a
son like unto me ; in all the worlds thou wilt assuredly stand
forth."
In spite, however, of her many friendly words, this sensible
maiden could not soften the thousand-beamed one. When the
young girl could not send off the scarer of darkness, she pondered
now for a while, filled with fear of his curse : How shall it
be that the curse of this wrathful sun god may not, because of
me, light upon my father and likewise the Brahman ? And
he that is young and foolish muft not through blindness let
fiery strength and the power of penitence, which, indeed, have
brought much disaster, come near unto him. For how can I,
who am now so tortured, how can I myself boldly take in hand
and carry out my bestowai on the man, which does not befit
me ? Dreading the curse, with many wavering thoughts in
her heart, gripped in her limbs by a swimming weakness,
smiling ever and again, and filled with anxiety for her kindred,
the curse-afeared one spoke to the god in a voice quivering
with shame : My father is alive, O god, and my mother and
my other kinsfolk. So long as they still live let not the holy
precept be thus broken. If the unlawful union with thee should
come about, O god, then the good name of my family in the
world would come to nought because of me. But if thou holdest
this to be right and virtuous, O bet of the shining ones, without
the bestowal by my kindred, then I will fulfil thy wish. -But
if I have given myself up to thee, O thou so hard to overcome,
then I am an unchaste woman. In thee abides the right, the
splendour, and the good name of mankind." The sun god
spoke: Neither father, mother, nor dignitaries have any
power in this,1 0 thou with the bright smile and fair hips.
1 Literally : The father has not the disposal of thee, the mother has
not the disposal of thee, nor, etc. Or perhaps less well: Not thy
father, not thy mother, nor the dignitaries have power (the disposal).
32







THE MAID
Be pleased to hear my words. Since she covets all, and is from the
root to covet ", O lovely one, therefore (she) is the maiden ",
the fair-hipped, (and she stands) alone, O lovely-faced one.1
Thou wilt have done no wrong whatever, fair one. How could
I in my love for the world choose a wrong deed All women
and men are without restraint, O lovely-faced one. This is
the real nature of mankind, any other is to speak untruly, as
the holy tradition teaches. After union with me thou wilt
again be a virgin, and thy son will become strong-armed and
greatly famed." Kunti spoke If a son shall come to me from
thee, thou scatterer of all darkness, who is decked with ear-
rings, clad in armour, a hero, srong-armed and very mighty.
S. 2 The sun god spoke : He will be strong-armed and
decked with ear-rings, and wear divine armour. And both,
0 kind one, will be made for him from the Immortal." 3
Kunti spoke : If that is of the Immortal-the two ear-rings,
and the splendid harness of my son, whom thou wouldst beget
with me-then let my union with thee, O sublime god, come
about, as thou has said. And may he be endowed with thy
hero's strength, thy form, bravery, and power, and with
virtue." The sun god spoke : Aditi, O queen, has given
me ear-rings, thou that art as one drunk ; them I will give
him, O timid one, and this most excelling armour." Kunti
spoke : That is well indeed. I will unite myself with thee,
if my son shall be as thou sayeA, O lord of the beams."
Good," answered the sky-wanderer, Svarbhdnu's foe, joined
himself with Kunti, taking on a magic body, and touched her
on the navel. Thereupon the maid swooned, as it were, through

K. (308.12) reads more smoothly praddne te insead of vararohe. Cf.
Markandeyapur., cxiii, 14: In all things one shall liaen to the Gurus
(dignitaries), but in love they have nothing to say.
1 Kanya (maiden, virgin), that is to say, is held to come from kam
to covet.
2 K. has destroyed the beauty of this unfinished sentence by a third
gloka line : astu me samgamo, deva, anena samayena te.
3 That is, they are themselves indestru&ible, and bestow immunity
on their wearer; death, too, has no power over him (iii, 300.17-20).
Cp. i, 3 30. Io ff.; iii, 3 ro. o ff.; 301.17. As is well known, the world's
literature, particularly the Indian, shows very many such magic things.







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
the fiery strength and majesty of the sun god, and she, the
queen, now fell with confused mind on to the couch. The
sun god spoke : I shall bring it about : thou wilt bear a son
who is the first among all that bear arms, and thou wilt be a
virgin." Then spoke the young woman, filled with shame,
to the sun god, the many-beamed, as he proceeded : So let
it be." 1 When the daughter of the king of the Kunti
thus had spoken, prayerful and ashamed, to the sun god, she
fell onto that pure couch, overcome in a swoon, like a broken
tendril. He of the sharp beams bewildered her with his
fiery strength, united with her through his magic power,
and made her his own ; and the sun god did not dishonour
her.2 And then the young woman got back her senses again.
Then the fruit of Pritha's body came into being, on the
eleventh day of the bright half of the moon, as in heaven
did the ruler of the stars. For fear of her kinsfolk the young
woman kept this child secret, she, the lovely-hipped one,
1 My translation of sadhayishyami and prathita is quite a possible
one, and it was chosen so as to make the tale in some measure consistent
with itself. But the natural reading would be : I will now go off,
thou wilt, etc. Then spoke the young woman ... as he went off, etc."
In the following there is a change from the cloka into the trishtubh;
it is evidently a piece from another account which was inserted without
the joins being properly filled in-a constant praaice in the MBh.
The cloka and the fira version is taken up again with : Then Pritha
conceived a fruit of her body." Were it not for l. 125, the two
trishtubh could naturally be easily taken as a concluding summary;
with that oloka this is difficult, if we take sadhayishyami and prasthita
in the usual meaning. There is probably, too, an unskilful join made
in the tale in so far as the sun god touches (the woman) on the
navel", after the way of ascetics who do not want to harm their
charity and yet to help in bringing a son into being (e.g. Jdtaka,
Nos. 497 and 540; Windisch, Buddhas Geburt, etc., p. 20 ff.;
ReitzenStein, Zeitschr. f. Ethnol., Bd. 41, p. 648). Of course,
divyena vidhina in 308.13 seems to point to exactly such a begetting-
which allusion, however, may be secondary-and impregnation
through the touch of the hand, is often found in India and elsewhere
(e.g. i, 104.51 f.).
2 Did not destroy her maidenhead, or restored it again after union.
P. 33, line 9, instead of till be a virgin ", perhaps : be a virgin
again."







THE MAID
and folk noticed nothing about her. For no other woman
knew of it but her nurse's daughter, a young girl in the city,
who well understood how to shield her. Later in due time
the lovely-faced one brought forth her child, and as an un-
harmed virgin through the favour of that god : like an
immortal, wearing armour and shining ear-rings of gold,
yellow-eyed, bull-shouldered, juSt as his father. And so
soon as the lovely one had borne this child, she took counsel with
the nurse, and laid it in a chefS that was well lined all round,
waxed over, soft and easy, and well fastened ; and weeping,
she set the child forth thus in the river Acva. Though
she knew that a maid muaS bear no fruit of her body, yet she
wailed bitterly out of love for her little son. The words
spoken in tears then by Kunti, as she set him forth in the cheSt
in the river's waters-hear them : Good come to thee from
the beings in the air and the earth and in the sky and those
in the water, my little son Blessed be thy paths May the
waylayers keep far from thee And even so may they that
have come hither along the road (agata) be friendly-hearted
towards thee May King Varuna, the prince of the waters,
watch over thee in the water, and in the air the god of
the wind, who is in the air, and goeth everywhere. May
thy father ward thee everywhere, the shining one and best
of the shining ones, who has given me thee, O son, in divine
wise. May the Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Sadhyas, and the
All-gods, the Maruts together with Indra, and the quarters of
the world with the wardens thereof watch over thee, may all
the gods watch over thee on smooth and on rugged paths!
I shall know thee, too, abroad, for the armour betrays thee.
Happy, my son, is thy father, the blazing sun god, who sees
thee in the river with his god's eye. Happy the woman
who shall take thee for son, O son, and whose breast thou
shalt thirstily suck, thou god-begotten one What (happiness-
bringing) dream she indeed had who makes thee to be her son,
thee blazing like the sun, endowed with heavenly armour,
decked with heavenly ear-rings, thee that hast long white
lotus-eyes, that shineSt like a red lotus-leaf,1 that hast a lovely
1 Literally: shining like the red leaf of the lotus. We should
exped something like padmatamradalaushthakam, "with lips like a
35







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
forehead and lovely hair. It is happy folk that will see thee,
my son, a little crawler about the earth and, covered in dust,
babbling darling words. Happy folk will see thee then, my
son, come into the years of youth, like the maned lion born
in the Himalaya forest Pritlih having thus bitterly lamented
in various wise, now set forth the chest on the waters of the
Agva river. Weeping, tortured with sorrow for her son, and
filled with the yearning to see him, then Pritha, the lotus-
eyed, in the middle of the night together with her nurse,
again came into the king's palace, sick with sorrow, after
having had the box sent drifting away through fear les her
father should come to know of the thing. But the chest
swam from the Acva river into the river Carmaivati, from the
Carmaijvati into the Yamund, and from there into the Gaiga.
On the Ganiga the child in the chest came into the territory
of the chariot-driver, to the city of Campa, as the little one
was carried along by the waves.1

red lotus leaf." But the red hue of the new-born is also referred to
elsewhere in the MBh.
1 There he is found by Adhiratha, the chariot-driver of
Dhritarashtra, who takes him to himself as child, and brings him up.
The same tale is told earlier, i, 67.129 ff., and shorter i, I I1. According
to the former, and according to i, 122.35-37, Durvasas says from the
beginning that the purpose of the magic is that Kunti may get a son
from any god she may call up; and we have not to do, as we clearly have
in our account, with a begetting without the virginity being destroyed;
but we find : And the god of the brightest splendour gave her back
her maidenhead" (i, 111.20). With this xv, 30.16 also agrees.
The Brahman of this account was called Durvasas.
With the motive of the exposed Perseusor Cyrus or of" Moses in the
bulrushes (in his case smeared over with clay and pitch, 2 Moses,
ii, verse 3) and of Kunti, the maiden-mother, compare how in the
Shahnameh Darab is exposed by his mother Humai on the Euphrates in
a precious small cheft directly after his birth, and is found and adopted
by washer-folk; Jataka, v, p. 429; Chauvin, vii, 97; Hertel,
Hemacandra's Paricishtaparvan, ii, 238, and his references, p. 228,
as also ZDMG (Zeiisc/z. d. deutscA. morgenl. Ges.), Bd. 65, p. 438 f. ;
H. Schurtz, UrgeschicAte der Kultur (1900), p. 578 ; The Wicked
Stepmother in Aino Tales, by Basil Hall Chamberlain, privately
printed for the Folk Lore Society, xxii, p. 48 ; and above all Frobenius,
36







THE MAID
With this, however, the sorrow that was to light upon the
king's daughter from this child Karna had only begun. Karna
becomes, indeed, the friend and faithful comrade of Duryod-
hana, the fierce foe of her later children, the Pandavas, and
in the desperate fight that breaks out between these and the
Kauravas he fights with overwhelming and crushing heroic
might against his brothers, especially against his rival Arjuna.
When the young Pindavas have served their full time, their
teacher Drona makes them show their skill before a splendid
fetal gathering. Arjuna stands out before all the others.
Then a wonderful hero comes onto the arena, Karna, and does

Zeitalter des Sonnengottes, Bd. i, p. 223 if.; and P. Saintyves, Les
vierges meres et les naissances miraculeuses (Paris, 1908). The two
laft-named works are, I am sorry to say, not to my hand, and I know
them only from reviews. Supernatural fertilization has been very
thoroughly treated by E. S. Hartland, Legend of Perseus, vol. i, and
then in the earlier chapters of his careful and luminous book, Primitive
Paternity (1909). As is well known, girls at the coming of puberty
or of the first monthly course must among the moft various peoples
and tribes of the earth be carefully looked after, generally even shut
up for a shorter or longer time, and especially kept from the sun;
and it is quite an astonishment when we are told by C. G. and
Brenda Z. Seligmann, The Veddas (Cambridge, 1911 ), p. 94, that this
people, both on this and remarkably so on many other points (cp. for
instance, p. 190 f.), has no superstitions, except where it has loft some
of its primitiveness through contact with foreigners. The girl is at
this very time highly susceptible to magical influences, and easily brings
ill-hap on others. It is particularly by the sun or its beams that women
in general and above all at the first monthly course can be impregnated.
See Frazer, The Golden Bough (1900), iii, p. 204 ff., especially 219 and
222, and the evidence there; Hartland, Primitive Paternity, i, 25 f.,
89 ff., 97 if.; Anthropos, Bd. vi, p. 699; Bd. vii, p. 93; Crooke,
Popular Religion and Folk-Lore of Northern India, new ed., i, 1 1, 69,
and the references there; ReitzenStein, Zeitschr. f. Ethnol., 1909,
p. 658 f.; R. Schmidt, Liebe u. Ehe in Indien, p. 477. With Kunti's
swoon, cf. the Maidu Indian tale of Oankoitupeh, the red cloud's
son, Hartland, loc. cit., i, 195 f. A Rajput tale often reminding us of
the MBh. tale is given by Tod, Rajasl/an, i, 251-52 ; and that the
Rajput should thus trace the origin of one of their kings to the sun
seems the more natural in that it is their highest god (Tod, Rajailhan,
i, 596 ff., 250).







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
all the feats which Arjuna had just been the only one to do;
and when Arjuna flies into a rage, the unwelcome new-comer
calmly challenges him to a duel with bow and arrow. The
whole gathering, however, is very deeply roused. "The
audience split into two, among the women two parties were
formed ; but Kuntibhoja's daughter swooned away, when
she saw what was happening. As Kunti thus lay in a swoon,
Vidura, the knower of all duties, brought her to herself again
through the servant-maids with sandal-water. When her
life-spirits had now come back again, and she saw her two sons
equipped for the fray, she was utterly bewildered, and knew
not what to do." 1 She has then to see how the noble splendid
Karna is put to shame, first because of the darkness of his
origin, then because of his supposed father, Adhiratha, the
chariot-driver (i, 136 f.).
Here the party of the Pandavas wins the victory ; from fear
lest Arjuna, their pride, should be overcome by Karna, they
trick Karna shamefully. But afterwards it would be a gift
of heaven beyond price for the Pandavas, if they could win
him. Kunti herself then takes the step that is so painful for
her : she goes to Karna, just when he is carrying out his
worship of the sun god at the river's shore, waits humbly in
the burning glow till he is done, and then discloses to him that
he is not the chariot-driver's son, but her sun-god-begotten
virgin-child, and strives to unite him with his brothers. But
the mighty one first remonstrates with her for having treated
him before in so unmotherly wise, and having ruthlessly
deprived him of the warrior's sacraments and the career laid
down for him, while now she was seeking him out for her own
ends. He declares both the words of his mother and the
voice that comes solemnly from the sun, confirming and
supporting what she had said, to be false. Then in a speech
showing the inborn nobility of the soul of this the fines' hero
in all Indian literature he makes known his resolve to stay
faithful until death to his lords and friends the Kauravas,

1 Or: she was at a loss (na kimcit pratyapadyata). See vi.
119.111,115; I20.16. Bahtlingk wrongly has: "kept calm"
(but so it probably is in v, 73.20 ; vii, 34.24).
38






THE MAID
although for him it were better otherwise.1 But to the
mother, filled with care about her other sons, he gives the
great-hearted promise to spare them all in the fight ; only
with Arjuna will he fight a life and death struggle. Thus did
Karna lose her for ever (v, 144 ff. ; cp. xii, 1.18 ff. ; 6.9 ff.).
Many years after the bloody battles, when the sun's great
son has long been slain through low cunning, Kunti is still
being irked by the memory of her youthful sin, for which
fate is punishing her so heavily, and to which she had been led,
setting aside a forgivable maiden curiosity, mainly by her
loving thought for her father and the holy Brahman. She
gives a short tale of what happened to her then with the sun
god, and declares: Although I knew my son, yet in my
blindness I left him unnoticed. This is burning me." The
holy Vyasa, however, consoles her : "Thou didst do no sin,
and didst become a maid again.2 And the gods of a truth
have dominion in their hands ; men's virtue is not brought to
shame 3 by the virtue of the gods. All for the strong is whole-
some, for the strong all is pure, all for the strong is rightful
and virtuous, all belongs to the strong" (xv, 30 ; cp. Kunti's
lament for Karna, xv, 16. I ff. ; also xi, 27.6 ff.).
Satyavati, the mother of the famous Vyisa, held to be the
compiler of the Vedas and author of the Mahabharata, offers
less resistance than the maidenly Kunti. She had come into
1 Karna knows that the Pandavas will win, but withal he has already
refused Krishna, who has enlightened him as to his origin and tried to
win him, by the most splendid promises, over to the Pandavas (v, 140).
The great-souled hero answered him that his fofter-father and fofter-
mother had done everything for him, that he loved them, and muft
bring them the ancestral offering, and so cannot but be true to the
Kauravas (v, 141).
2 Hardly: Thou hadst then become a maid," and so hadst a right to
sexual mating. That would indeed agree with the Brahmanic teaching,
that she should have been wedded before, but not at all with the
customs of the Epic. Probably till less : Thou hadst fallen a vidim
to thy maiden nature," didst only at through want of understanding.
3 Or : harmed." The maiden's virtue, chastity, has not suffered,
although here the god's righteousness and virtue, his generative hero
nature, not bound by men's laws, came into strife with her. According
to v, 141.3, the sun god bade Kunti expose Karna.







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
being in the belly of a fish in an extraordinary way, to be referred
to later, and had come out when the creature, really a bewitched
Apsaras, had been cut open. She was given by her maker to
a fisherman, and was wondrous fair ; only she had a fish-like
smell. Her foster-father had a ferry-boat over the Yamuna,
and she took over its working for him. Then there came one
day the Rishi or holy man Par.gara to be ferried over. He
at once fell in love with the lovely-thighed one, and without
waiting made her his proposal : Be joined with me, lovely
one She spoke : See, O holy man, the Rishis are standing
on the other shore. How could we unite while they see us ? "
Thus addressed by her, the holy and glorious, the mighty one,
brought about a mist by which that whole neighbourhood
was changed, as it were, into one stretch of darkness. But
when she now saw this mist, made by the excelling Rishis,
the maiden was greatly astonished and ashamed, poor girl.
Satyavati spoke: Know, O holy man, that I am a maid,
and still subject to my father. Through a union with thee
my maidenhead would be lost, 0 blameless one. And if my
maidenhead is harmed, how shall I be able, 0 Rishi, best of
the twice-born, to go home ? I cannot then live, 0 wise man.
Think over this, 0 glorious one, and then do what lies next
to hand." To her thus speaking, said the best of the Rishis,
filled with joy and love: "When thou hast done me this
favour, then shalt thou become a maid again.' And choose
thyself, thou fearful one, a favour thou wouldSt have, 0 fair
one. For never up to now has my goodwill been without
result, thou with the bright smile." Thus spoken to, she
chose the loveliest sweet scent in her limbs, and the holy man
gave her what she yearned for above all. After she had won
the favour, filled with joy, and decked with the greatest gift
of woman (a sweet smell), she united herself with the wonder-
working Rishi. Hence her name Gandhavati (the fragrant
one) came to be renowned on earth. The scent of her was
smelt by men here below a Yojana (" mile ") away. There-
fore her other name is YojanagandhS. Thus was Satyavati
joyful, having received the incomparable favour, and united
1 Or less likely: till be wholly a maid" (kanyaiva tvam
bhavishyasi).






THE MAID
herself with Paraqara and bore at once the fruit of her body "
(i, 63.67 ff.). Satyavati herself tells this tale shorter (i, 105.5 ff.)
There she says that the fear, too, of the holy man's curse,
not only this gracious gift, had influenced her, and that the
Rishi enjoyed her in the boat, and bade her expose the child
on an island in the river ; and that thereupon she had
become a maid again.
This wondrous keeping or restoring of maidenhead is often
found elsewhere in the Mahabharata. The tale of the princess
NAldhavi reminds us of one of Boccaccio's novels. There
was a pious disciple of Viqvdmitra, by name Galava, who
after serving long was dismissed by his teacher. He insisted
on paying the holy man the teacher's fee, so that he (the teacher)
at last grew angry, and named him as the price eight-hundred
noble, moon-white steeds, each with one black ear. At
length the desperate, vainly-seeking Galava comes to King
Yayati. He, indeed, cannot fulfil his request for these rare
bea-ls, either, but in fear of the dreadful results of refusing a
suppliant he gives him his young daughter Madhavi, whom
for her loveliness even gods and spirits desire, and lets him
know that kings would give him as the price of her a whole
kingdom, not to speak of eight hundred such black-eared horses;
the only condition he would make for himself is that her sons
may make the ancestral sacrifice for him. First of all Galava
goes with the fascinating beauty to King Haryaqva, who
sees by the build of her body that she, who is a sight for the
heavenly ones themselves, cn give life to many sons, and even
to a world-ruler. But when the love-sick one hears of the
e.\traordinary price to be paid, he sighs sorrowfully, and
acknowledges he can give only two hundred such horses.
For these Galava shall let him beget but one son with her.
In this strait Madhavi now tells him: I was granted a
grace by a man learned in the Veda : After each birth thou
wilt become a maid again.' Give me to the king, so soon
as thou hast received two hundred peerless steeds. By means
of four kings thou wilt thus get my full eight hundred horses,
and I shall get four sons." So then Galava gives Haryaqva
the maiden for a fourth of the price, that he may live with her
till she has borne him a son. After this happy event has come
ce 41







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
about he then goes with Madhavi, who by the power of her
wish has become a maid again, to King Divodasa, who has
already heard of the famous beauty and her story and rejoices
greatly. He, too, can only give two hundred such animals,
and is allowed to beget one son with her. The next visit of
the two is to King Ucinara ; he gives his two hundred horses
and with the glorious one he lives a life of joy in mountain
grottoes and by river waterfalls, in gardens, groves, and forests,
in lovely palaces and on castle-towers, in windowed imperial
abodes and bedchambers, till, after the birth of a son, Galava
comes and demands the woman back again from him. The
bird king Garuda now tells the owner of the six hundred
wonderful steeds that there are no more on this earth, for
originally there were only a thousand, and the other four
hundred have been carried away by the river VitaSIa, as they
were trying to get them across. He is to offer the lovely one,
he tells him, to his teacher for two hundred such Seeds. Thus
it is, and Vicvamitra, who is, indeed, a judge of woman's
charms, is at once satisfied, and even exclaims : Why didst
thou not at once give me her here at the beginning ? Then
I should have got four sons from her to carry on the line."
She bears him a son, and later he withdraws into the forest
as an ascetic, giving her up to his disciple Galava, who brings
her back to her father. Her father now wishes to hold a great
choosing of a husband, but she takes to a life in the forest and
becomes a distinguished penitent (v, 114 ff.).l
Draupadi, too, the leading heroine of the Mahabharata,
after union still bears the flower of her maidenhood unplucked.
She is wedded to the five Pandavas one after the other, and we
hear : In this wise the king's five sons, the splendid chariot-
fighters, the gloriously-made, continues of the Kaurava race,
then took the splendid woman by the hand, each one on his
day. And this miracle surpassing all that is human is
proclaimed by the divine Rishi : the lovely one with the
glorious waiRs, the very mighty one, at the end of each day
became a maid again 2 (i, 98.I I ff.). The Rishi is Vyasa,
himself the child of a semper virgo, as has already been said.
1 Cf. Crooke, Popular Religion and Folk-Lore, etc., ii, 204.
2 Or : was till a maid (babhuva kanyaiva).







THE MAID 43
Here, however, we must so underHfand it that Draupadi
gets back (or, keeps) her maidenhead, only four times, that
she may fall into the arms of each of the five brothers as
untouched. For the maidenhead is, as in Old India in general,
set very high in the Epic likewise.1 xiii, 36.17, states :

1 What is, perhaps, very generally known from the novel Nena Sahib,
by Sir John Ratcliffe (a Berlin writer whose real name I cannot now
with certainty call to mind) is borne witness to by the Centuries of
H ala for older times, too ; there the anamdavada, the cloth (garment)
of bliss is publicly shown with rejoicings on the morning following
the bridal night; though in this case it is not dyed with the shed
blood of innocence ", for a young rascal goes by it and slily grins to
himself (No. 457). Particularly rich in information here is Kautilya.
See my translation (Leipzig, 1926), p. 357.6 ff.; 35 ff. The little
tricks of the ladies, of which Brant6me can tell us, were, then, already
known in Old India. He tells us that down to his time in Spain after
the depucellement of brides their linge teint de gouttes de sang was
publicly shown through the window, with loud cries of: Virgen la
tenemos, and that there was a like custom in Viterbo. Then he
entertains us with an account of how those daughters of Eve, who have
already nibbled from the tree of knowledge, supply what is lacking
by art, and with a merry tale of one who quite fruitlessly made use of
the red juice she had so carefully brought with her, and fruitlessly
for the same reason that Iseult White-hand fortifies herself so strongly
to no purpose against the storming of-her treasury of love (Heinrich
-on Freiberg, Triflan, 698 ff.). See Brant6me, (Euvres comply. ed. du
Pantheon lit. vol. ii, pp. 242 b, 332 b. Among the Yurakara in South
America, the smock of the bridal night was carried round in triumph
(Nlantegazza, GeschlechtsverA~ltnisse, p. 253). The Arabs, too,
publicly show the stained bed-clothes (Anthropos, iii, p. 184 f.).
So. too, among the South Slavs, the bed-linen and the bride's smock
are or were searched for the signs of maidenhead, and the happy find
was hailed with joy (Krauss, Sitte undBrauch der Sildslaven, pp. 225,
461 f.). Quite the same thing happens among the Russians and other
Slavs (Zeits. d. Ver.f. Volkskunde, Bd. 5, p. 438 f.), as also among the
Turks in Bulgaria ibidd., Bd. 4, p. 272). Among the F6 in Togo
the man sends the bedding next morning to the mother-in-law, and
if this is not marked as it should be, the parents have to find out the
evil-doer (Anthropos, vii, 296). Cf. 5 Moses, xxii, verses 15-17;
and further Ploss-Bartels, Das Weib4, i, pp. 365 ff.; my transl. of
Kautilya, 358.27 ff.







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
" Conceit desroys the happiness of a man of shallow under-
standing, it is by a pregnancy that the maiden is robbed of
honour,' and through dwelling and saying in the house the
Brahman." And according to vii, 73.17, the man who enjoys
a woman that has already been enjoyed by another belongs to
the abominable whose lot in the world beyond is a dreadful
one. However, what is in mind here, at least in the firs
place, is a girl that has lost her maidenhead and is taken to wife.
But all the shame and guilt does not fall withal, as it does in
almost all lands, on her that has strayed, but we are told:
" A third of the murder of a Brahman (that is, of the most
heinous of all crimes) is what the sinning virgin (kany!.
dushyati) takes on herself; but he that brings shame on her
takes two thirds (xii, 165.42, 34).2 The heedless giving of
1 Or : ruined (dushyate).
2 The law books deal just as Sternly with the maidenhood of the
girl. Only the unsullied one can receive the woman's consecration,
the regular wedding. Manu, viii, 226 ; ix, 176. It is only her son that
takes his father's caste. Manu, x, 5 ; ApafSamba, ii, 6, 13.1 ff. A man
is only to wed a maiden that as yet has had nothing to do with a man.
Vasishtha, viii, i ; Gautama, iv, I, etc. The bride's failings must,
according to the law writings, be faithfully made known before she is
given away, and, besides certain bodily faults, among these is the loss
of maidenhead. Narada, xii, 36, etc. Anyone making a false accusation
against a maid of breaking her chastity must pay Ioo pana. Manu,
viii, 225; Yajfiavalkya, i, 66; Narada, xii, 34; but according to
Vishnu, v, 47, the highest possible money atonement (uttama sahasa).
Cf. my transl. of Kautilya, 357.12 ff.; addit. 357.12-15. Defloration
and intercourse with a girl is heavily punished. In that case the evil-
doer's property shall be confiscated, and he banished ; while the king
must then see to it that sinful maidens such as these shall be saved
and kept from going wrong. This is the teaching of Apaslamba, ii, Io,
26.21-24. Manu, viii, 368, lays it down: He that dishonours a
maid shall pay 200 pana, if it was done with her will. According to
Narada, xii, 71-72, that is not an offence; but the man must
honourably wed the girl. Ydajiavalkya, ii, 288, holds that if the girl
belongs to a lower caste than the man, then it is not an offence, a view
which others do not share. If a man lie with a maid againRt her will,
or with one of a higher caste, then there are very stern laws, of which
later. Indeed, union with a maiden is the same as incest or a wrongful
at with the teacher's wife, that is it is the moft heinous thing there is.






THE MAID
herself to the man by the virtuous maid, which we find so
often in the tales of other peoples, especially the Europeans,
and later in India likewise, which indeed in many literatures
is found as something quite a matter of course, is a thing
unknown in the Epic. Devayani's view in i, 83.1-8 is
a monstrosity of Brahman arrogance. True, one might
be inclined to apply the words : My yoke is sweet and my
burden is light," to the Gandharva marriage, with which
in the Epic even the noble, though untried and innocent
Cakuntald contents himself. But, for the consciousness of the
Epic, this form is lawful and blameless and the woman at least
treats it as holy and binding, whether the man would like to
override it or not.
But in spite of the delightful, shy maids, if not always very
hard to win, that are set before us in the Epic, we get the
decided impression now and again that here too the woman
in love takes the first Sep, as in general we may hold it to be
the mark of Eastern narrative literature.1 Thus in the
Nlahabhrrata we meet with more than one of these
aggressive young women, spiritually akin to the already
introduced Devayani.
When a maiden, threatened by a ravisher, weeping aloud,
calls out she wants a husband (iii, 223, 6 ff.), that can be under-
tlood. On the other hand, iii, 224.30 ff. does not agree so
well with the ordinary rules of womanly reserve ; here we find
a reversal, as it were, of the tale of Amphitryon, which is
met with in so many variations.
Yajfia'., iii, 231; Manu, xi, 58 (milder, 62 if.; in 58 perhaps
kumarishv antyajasu to be taken together). The Mahanirvanatantra
also agrees with this, and says that the sinner muft have his member
cur off. Agnipurana, 173, strophe 5ob-5i, lays it down that such a
sinner must leave life behind him ; it is on the same level with incest.
And so on with other examples. That girls should come to be mothers
is a thing that can only happen in the age of Kali. Narada, i, 31.
And the deflowering of maids is one of the horrors that spread around
under a bad king. MBh., xii, 90.39.
I lanu, viii, 365, lays it down, too, expressly: A maiden that
enjo s (bhajanti) a man of high caste goes unpunished : but if she
has a love affair (sevamana) with one of lower caste (jaghanya), she is
to be shut up in her house (till she comes to her senses).






SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
The seven Rishis by the might of their spell called down
Agni from the sun to their sacrifice, that he might take it to
the gods. He saw there the wives of the holy men, all seven
like wondrous stars to behold. He fell hotly in love with
them, but reproached himself for his own foolish passion,
for these faithful, pure women would, indeed, not give him
any hearing. So he went into the Garhapatya, one of the
three holy fires, and from there let his eyes have their fill of the
beloved ones. Burnt up in the glow of his passion, he resolved,
however, in the end to die, and went into the forest. Now
Svaha, the daughter of the god Daksha, and in love with him,
had already sought for an opportunity (chidra) to be with him.
As he was thus so unhappily in love, she had now an opening
offered her : I who am tortured by love will take on the
form of the seven wives of the Rishis, and give my love to the
fire god who is blinded by their loveliness. Thus will he
get joy, and I shall have my wish fulfilled." She took, there-
fore, first the shape of (iva, the wife of Afgiras, came to
Agni and spoke : Agni, love me, who am scorched with
love. If thou dost not do this, then know that I shall die.
I am (iva, the wife of Angiras, and am come, sent by the
others after we have come to a resolve." Agni spoke : How
knowest thou that I am tortured with love, and how do the
others know it, all the beloved wives of the Rishis of whom
thou hast spoken ? (iva spoke : We have always loved
thee, but were afraid of thee. Now that we have come to
know thy thoughts from thy gestures, I have been sent to
thee and have come hither to lie with thee. Carry out the
wish speedily that stands before its fulfilment. The women
are waiting for me ; I must be away, O devourer of sacrifices."
Thereupon Agni, filled with the joy of love, lay with this
(iva, and the goddess, joined with him in love, caught up
the seed with her hand. Thought she : Whoever sees me
here in this shape in the forest will make a false accusation
against the Brahmans' wives because of the fire god. There-
fore I will prevent that, and change myself into a GarudL.1
Thus I can leave the forest at my ease." Thereupon she
1 Garuda, mythological huge bird (roc, simurg, griffin, etc. ; cp.
Chauvin, vii, 10-14; 175); also called Suparna.







THE MAID
became a Suparni, and came out of the great forest. She saw
the mountain qveta, which is covered with a cane-thicket,
and is watched over by wonderful seven-headed snakes with
a poisonous glance, by Rakshasas and Picacas, and by dread
bands of ghosts, and filled with women Rakshasas, and many
forest beasts and birds. Thither hurried the fair one, onto
the mountain-top, hardly to be climbed, and threw the seed
into a golden vessel (or, a golden fire-pit). Thus she took
on, one after the other, the shape of six of the women beloved
by Agni, and made love with him. But she could not take on
herself1 the shape of the seventh, of Arundhati, because of
the penitential might and obedience to her husband of this
ideal wife. Each time she added the seed to what was already
there, and from it there then arose in consequence a six-headed
being, the war god Skanda.
A tale, now, which is in many ways remarkable is that of
Gaiiga and her son : Bhishma's birth, which is told in i, 96 ff.
It belongs to the very numerous set of tales of a supernatural
being from whom the favoured man or woman must not ask
or seek to find out ; and the best-known of this set of tales
is perhaps, besides the Lohengrin saga, the tale of Amor and
Psyche, which reaches back to Rigveda times as the myth of
Pururavas and Urvaci.
The king Mahabhisha has won heaven through his piety.
One day he is in a gathering of the gods by Brahma. The
wind blows up the garment of the river goddess Gafiga. The
gods quickly cast down their eyes. But Mahabhisha, without
thinking, looks. Brahma takes this very ill of him, and utters
the curse against him: "Thou wilt be born among the
mortals, but then once again come into the world of heaven.
This Gariga, who did take thy senses, O fool, will do thee
something not to thy liking in the world of men, and when
the tide of thy displeasure threat rises high, thou wilt be set
free from thy curse." Now the eight Vasus have just sinned
against the holy Vasishtha : The wife of one of them had
longed for Vasishtha's well-known wonder-cow, because she
wanted to make a woman-friend she had among mankind
1 Cf. my translation of D.modaragupta's Kuttanimatam, p. 30,
n. 4.







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
free of sickness and ever young through the milk of
this divine beast. Egged on by her husband, the hen-
pecked Dyaus, the eight all took a share in carrying
off the wonder-cow. Vasishtha uttered the curse on them
all to be conceived in a womb, but changed the curse in such
wise that they could be freed from it within a year, excepting
only the adual sinner, who had to live long on the earth.
Now they do not wish to be born of earthly women, and beg
Gariga to become their mother, and throw them directly
after birth into the water, so that they may be speedily cleansed
of their sin.
Gafiga consents, and appears before the king Pratipa, who is
given up to good works in Gaigadvara, in sense-ensnaring
loveliness ; she seats herself without more ado on his right
thigh. He asked her what he could do for her, and she said :
"I want thee ; do thou love me, who love thee. For to
repulse women in love is a thing condemned by the good."
Pratipa spoke: "I approach in love no strange woman,
nor one that is not of my caste." She made it clear to him
that with her he could unite. But he said: "Now thou
hast brought on thyself the loss of the boon thou art urging
me to grant. And were I to do otherwise, the breaking of
the law would bring down destruction on me. Thou hast
clasped me by seating thyself on my right thigh. Know
thou that this is the seat of children and daughters-in-law.
For the left thigh is what the loving woman must make use of,
and it thou hast avoided. Therefore will I not make love with
thee. Be thou my daughter-in-law, fair-hipped one ; I choose
thee for my son." The goddess consented, but made the
condition : Whatever I may do, thy son must never make
protest." The king promised her this, and the childless man
now together with his wife carried out ascetic pracices to get
a son. And he, the son, then came, and when he was grown
up, Pratlpa gave the kingdom over to him, and went into the
forest, having told him that a woman from heaven in love
with him would come to him ; he was to live in love with her,
but must not ask after her origin, nor ever make question,
whatever she should do.
Now C,.ntanu, the son, was, as the Old Indian kings so
48






THE MAID
often were, a mighty hunter. "So he would go alone along
the strand of the Gafiga, the resort of the ghostly bands of the
Siddhas and Cararias. There one day he saw a splendid woman,
shining with beauty like another LakshmT, quite without
blemish, with lovely teeth, divinely adorned, clad in a thin
garment, alone, shining like a lotus-flower cup. When he
saw her, the hair on his body bristled, and he marvelled at the
perfection of her body. With his eyes the king seemed to
drink her in, and yet his thirst was not Silled. And the fair
one, too, when she saw the brightly shining king walking
there, could not get her fill of gazing at him, gripped by the
spell of love. Then the king spoke to her, uttering friendly
words to her in a soft voice : Art thou a goddess or a Danavi,
a wife of the Gandharvas or an Apsaras, a Yaksha woman
or a snake fairy, or a woman belonging to the human race,
O thou with the lovely waiHS ? I beseech thee, that art as
a child of the gods, become my wife, thou shining one." She
consented, but added : Whatever I may do, be it good or
not good, thou must not hinder me, nor utter anything unkind
to me. If thou so behave, then will I dwell with thee, O lord
of the earth ; but if I am hindered, or anything unkind is
uttered to me, then surely shall I leave thee." When he
spoke yes unto her, and she had won this beAt of the lords
of earth, she found incomparable joy. And when (ntanu
had won her, he took his joy of her, being obedient to her out
of love ; she must not be questioned," so he thought to himself,
and spoke nothing to her. In her virtuous ways and the
surpassing nobleness of her form, and her hidden services 1
the ruler of the earth found his joy. For of a heavenly
form was this goddess Gaiiga, the wanderer on the three paths,
since she, the lovely-faced one, had taken on a glorious human
body. And dutifully obedient to her husband lived the wife
of (9ntanu, the lion king, granted his wish by fate, whose
1 Upacara, service with an erotic meaning is not seldom found in
the MBh. (cp. the waiting-maid's expression : I muft first wait on
a gentleman"). See, for instance, i, 98.7, 1o6.25; iii, 295.21 ; xii,
325.35. So, too, (iqup., v, 27, and elsewhere. Possible, but perhaps
less likely, is : In her virtuous ways, and the surprising nobleness of
her form.







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
splendour was like that of the king of the gods. With her
love-firing skill in the joyous union, and in tender love,1
which held the senses fettered by amorous wiles and dances, she
so delighted the king that he found the utmost delight. So
wrapped was the king in the pleasures of love, and so carried
away was he by the surpassing gifts of the glorious woman,
that he did not mark how many years, seasons, and months
were going by. The prince of men, thus partaking with her
of the joys of love to his heart's content, begat with her eight
god-like sons. And each son she threw after birth into the
water, sank him in the Gafiga sream, as she spoke : I give
thee joy." Now this the king (.ntanu did not like, but the
lord of the earth said nothing to her, for he was afraid lest
she should forsake him. Then when the eighth son was born,
the king, tortured with sorrow and wishing to save his son,
said to her, while she laughed a little : Do not kill him !
Who art thou and whose daughter ? Why dot thou wrong
thy sons ? Thou child-murderess, thou hat laid on thyself
a very great and heavily-reprobated sin." The woman
spoke : Thou yearner after offspring, I am not killing thy
sons, thou best of them granted sons. But my stay with thee
is at an end according to the covenant we made.2 I am
Gariga, Jahnu's daughter, who am served by the bands of the
great Rishis, and I have dwelt with thee that a thing may be
brought about which must be carried through by gods."
She now tells him how it all came about that only he could
have been the father of the Vasus, and only she their mother,
reveals to him that through this begetting he has won the
everlasting world of heaven, and entrusts him with the only
son left him. As to this son she tells him of the words of
the Muni Vasishtha, that he will be filled with virtue, a knower
of all the sciences, and, for love of his father, without any love
for woman all his life long. Then she leaves the sorrow-
ing king.3
1 Or : through joyous union, love, and charm.
2 Or : condition laid down.
3 Cp. Chauvin, vi, 181-82, and all the cycle, huge beyond words,
of the swan maiden tales, whose voluminous literature would take
us too far to point out here.






THE MAID
It need not aftonish us then, if a young widow, who is
moreover a snake fairy, sets about it very earnestly when she is
smitten by love's fire. Arjuna has taken on himself a vow of
charity for twelve years, and wanders through various lands.
Then he comes to Garigadvara, and there bathes in the holy
t ream. JuS as he is about to come out he is seized hold of by
Ulapi, the daughter of Kauravya, the king of the snakes,
and finds himself set in the magnificent palace of her father
under the waters. Laughing, he asks her who she may be,
and why she has done this violence. She tells him about
herself, and goes on : At once when I saw thee immersing thy-
self to bathe in the stream, O tiger among men, I was utterly
beside myself with love. Grant me content now, who am
devoured with passion for thee, and given up to thee only,
by giving thyself to me, O blameless one." Arjuna spoke :
This twelve years' chaStity has been laid on me by the king
of the law (Yudhishthira) ; I am not my own lord. I would
fain do thee the service of love, on the one hand, thou water-
wanderer, but on the other, I have never yet uttered an
untruth. How may it now be that I shall not be guilty of
any untruth, and yet this fortune shall come to thee ? And
do thou so at, O snake fairy, that my virtue may not be hurt."
Ulapi said she knew full well that he was pledged to StrideS
chal'ity, and why, but then puts it to him : The distressed
must be saved, O great-eyed one. If thou rescues' me, then
thy virtue will not be harmed. And if, indeed, in this there
be any slight overstepping of duty, yet thou wilt win virtuous
merit by giving me life, O Arjuna. Love me, who love,
O son of Pritha ; of this the good approve. If thou does
not so, then be assured that I shall die ; carry out the greatest
of all duties by granting me life.' I have come now to thee
1 Into such Straits of conscience the man is very often driven,
indeed, by women in love in Indian and other Eaftern tales, or those
derived from the East; while in the Weft it is moStly the man in love
who thu. presses his lady. The Minnesingers' poetry of the Middle
Ages has. indeed, given very strong expression to this reality of love's
catechism (see the first part of my book, Isoldes Gottesurteil, Berlin,
1914, pessi."). For Arthur Schnitzler, however, the artist of that highly
unpleasing world from which is wafted to our nostrils a breath of






SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
for shelter, O best among men. For thou dos ever shelter
the needy and shelterless, O son of KuntT. I come to thee
for shelter, and lift my voice high in my pain. I am beseeching
thee, filled with longing love. Therefore grant me the favour.
Thou must fulfil the wish of me, who am in love, by giving
thyself to me." Thus addressed by the daughter of the prince
of the snake spirits, Kunti's son did all as she said, seeing a
reason in virtuous duty. When the loftiness-filled one had
spent this night in the palace of the snake-spirit, he rose at
sunrise, and came back with her to Garigadvara. Ulupi, the
good one, left him, and went into her palace, having given
him as a favour the gift of never being overcome anywhere
in the water : All water-spirits will be at thy call ; of that
is no doubt (i, 214).
The teller here speaks minslrelwise of a wonderful deed
of one who is praised (adbhuta karman). But what is told us
later (vi, go.6 ff.) would seem to be far more wonderful.
Here the fruit of this very remarkable heroic devotion to duty
and virtue, a devotion concording, indeed, not only with
Heracles's view in Gitter, Helden, und Ilieland, the fruit,
a strapping son, presents itself to its father Arjuna. And
when the scion has made known his descent, we read : And
the Pandava remembered it all just as it had happened"
(91. I4).
It must be said that the repulse of a fair one aflame with
love is not always without its dangers, either elsewhere in the
world or in Old India, as is shown both in other Indian works
and in the Epic in various places, of which we shall speak later.

decadency and lewdness, often shamelessly frivolous and always
weighed down with world-weariness, for Arthur Schnitzler,
it would seem, the following was reserved: In his drama, Das
weite Land," Hofreiter, filled with dread, forsakes, at leaft for a time,
his own wife, because she for the sake of such a phantasy of the brain
and unsubstantial shadow, as is a woman's virtue, has refused her
lover, whom she also loves, his last wishes, and thereby brought about
his death. This Hofreiter is the pattern of a Toda. Among this people
of India, according to Rivers, he is looked cn as immoral, and muft
atone heavily in the next world for his crime, who will not give up
his wife to another man (Hartland, Primitive Paternity, ii, 160).







THE MAID
It is even very solemnly laid down for us in a saying (xiii, 23.75) :
" He that comes in the way of the business of Brahmans,
cows, and maidens, lands himself, of a truth, into hell." It
may be that a humorous smile plays round this expressed
opinion ; while hell (niraya, naraka), too, in the Epic
not seldom means, as among ourselves, a great sorrow, a great
mishap, distress, ruin, even wickedness, baseness, vice.1

1 See, for instance, i, 141.37; ii, 77.4; iii, 96.17; 157.23;
179.24; iv, 19.12 f.; 18.25 ; 25.7; 29.45; vii, 196.52; ix,
59.30; xii, 3.17, 18, 21; Ram., ii, 36.27.













II
MARRIAGE
MEN in love have always been free and open in laying
down rules for maidens, mostly, of course, only for their
own special case, just as the sun god did for KuntT. But we
may hold the view which prevails throughout the Epic to be
the usual Indian one : The daughter shall live in complete
chastity and implicit obedience towards her father, mother,
and other kinsfolk, and await from them her husband. Mythic
examples are, of course, always to be made use of with care,
just as are, indeed, the manners, customs, and so forth in the
legends handed down from the dim past. We have very
often to do here not with survivals from earlier times,
but just with freely drawn figures from the eager popular
fantasy, impatient of any bars, or even from a brooding
meditation.
On the other hand, the father then has the express and holy
duty to find a husband for his daughter. Marriage is not only
necessary, but it is also the sacramental birth anew of the
woman : as the man of the higher castes is born a second
time by being given the holy cord, so is she through being taken
by the hand (Ram., v, 19.1o, cp. Manu, ii, 67, and the note in
Burnell's translation).1 In Mahdbh., xiii, 24.9, we find:
" He that doth not give his own grown-up fair daughter to
a worthy wooer, let him be held for a Brahman-murderer." 2
1 The unmarried woman is asamskrita kanyE (ix, 52.12), and
samskrita = the wedded woman, e.g. YEjfiavalkya, i, 67 ; Vishnu,
xxii, 33; asamskrita the unwedded maiden Vishnu, xxiv, 41. See,
too, Jolly," Rechtl. Stellung d. Frauen bei d. alten Indern," Sitzungsber.
d. Miinchener Akad., 1876, p. 427.
2 Cp. iii, 293.35 f. No less strongly do the law writings stress
this duty. Each time a (ripe) unwedded maiden has her courses, her
parents or guardians are guilty of the heinous crime of slaying the
embryo. Vasishtha, xvii, 71; Baudhayana, iv, 1.12 f.; Narada,
xii, 25-27 ; Yajiav., i, 64. Cp. Paragara, vii, 6. Vasishtha adds the






MARRIAGE -
The kinds of wedlock or marriage are according to the
Mahabh. eight all told : the firft four or the specifically
Brahmanic, under which the father hands over his daughter to
the bridegroom 1 free and without any price, although in the
Rishi form it is for two head of cattle, looked on as arhana
(honour shown, gift of honour) only; then there is the
purchase or demon marriage, the love or Gandharva marriage,
the marriage by capture (rakshasa vivaha) and the marriage
by stealing, as we may perhaps call it, whereby the man gets
the woman by some cunning (paiqica vivaha).2 These regular
methods are found in i, 73.8 ff., and there the marriage by
capture, but not marriage by purchase nor the Paieca marriage,
is allowed to the warrior ; but on the other hand the Vaiqya
and the 9iudra may marry by purchase. So, too, the eight
kinds are seen in the passage in i, 102, shortly to be dealt with.
Many observations, however, are noteworthy enough to be
further condition: "if the girl has wooers," but Baudh. says: even if
she has none; the latter, indeed, like Vasishtha, xvii, 67, is inclined
to grant a three years' grace, but then adds, like Manu's teaching,
the threat just given. Paracara, vii, 5, says : If a girl has reached her
twelfth year, and has not been given away, then her forefathers in the
other world are for ever drinking the blood she sheds every month.
He has also the well-known verse wherein a girl of ten years becomes
a maid (kanyd), and with this a physiologically perfed woman (vii, 4 ;
cp. Jolly's note in SBE [= Sacred Books of the East], xxxiii, p. 170).
Vishnu, xxiv, 41, lays down : If a maid in her father's house sees her
monthly courses without having been dedicated (that is, married), she
is to be looked on as a Vrishali (more or less = Pariah) ; he that takes
her for himself without more ado lays no guilt on himself. Cp. Manu,
i1, 93. She has thereby lost the right to marriage, and woe to him that
yet takes her. Paragara, vii, 7. Cp. Vasishtha, xvii, 69-71 ; my transl.
of Kautilya, 356.6 ff.
1 Great is the reward, too, in the other world, for such pious
liberality. Cp., for insance, MBh., iii, 186.15; xiii, 57.25,32.
According to Narada, xii, 41, in the Rishi method the father besides
the two head of cattle (gomithuna) also gets a garment (vaftra), anyhow
for the bride.
2 This is, as is well known, the orthodox lift. Cp. transl. Kautilya,
242.20 ff. Apastamba, ii, 5, 1I, 17 ff., and Vasishtha, i, 28 ff. have,
however, only six forms, Prajapatya or Kaya, and Paicaca being
left out.







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
profitably quoted. So xiii, 44 : Yudhishthira spoke : The
root of all duties and virtues, of offspring and family, of the
serving of the dead, of gods, and of guests-tell me what it is,
O grandfather. For of all ordinances, O lord of the earth,
this is held to be the mosl worthy of mark : To whom should
the daughter be given ?" Bhishma spoke: "The good
muS give the daughter to a wooer gifted with excellencies,
having informed themselves of his character and way of life,
his knowledge, his origin, and his business. That is the
Brahma form of good Brahmans. Let him that gives her
away of his free will 1 win thus as son-in-law a man fitted to
wed his daughter. This is the unswerving duty of the learned
(that is, of the Brahmans) and of warriors. If a man without
regard to his own wish (the father's, etc.) shall have to give
the maiden to him whom she loves and who loves her, then the
Veda-learned call this the Gandharva kind.2 If a man buys
the maiden for goods in one of the many ways and means,
enticing her kinsfolk, then the wise call that the demon form.
If a man by force robs the weeping girl from her home, slaying,

1 Avahya goes along with aviha. According to Bbhtlingk and
Monier-Williams, this word is not found in the meaning of marriage.
But it is so found in xiii, 63.33 (wrongly understood by B.); and
Karna says in v, 141, 14; avaha9 ca vivahac ca saha stair maya
kritah. It is the bringing hither, the marrying hither or acquisitive
marriage (of the child-in-law), opposed to the marrying away or giving
in marriage (of one's own child). Anukalatah might also mean : in
fitting wise. The passage is a hard one. I have translated in agreement
with the re-t of the standpoint of the Smriti. By far the smootheft
arrangement would be to refer the relative clause to avahyam. Then :
" With one that in fitting wise (or : of free bent) may give a gift of
honour." According to the scholiast, it is true, whom I cannot follow
in this, what is referred to is the buying of a bridegroom, and the
prajapatya vivaha is here meant. But elsewhere he is otherwise
described.
2 Here probably give = afterwards consent. Bearing in mind
cloka 36, one is tempted, indeed, to translate: Without regard
to his own wish, a man shall give his daughter to him who loves her,
and whom she loves. This is called the Gandharva form by those
learned in the Veda." The wording also would be most naturally so
translated, but there are other objedions.
56







MARRIAGE
and cutting off the heads of the weeping (kindred), that is
known as the Rakshasa form. Of five now three are lawful,
and two unlawful : the Paig ca and the demon custom
must never be practised. The Brahmanic form, the warrior
form, and the Gandharva form are lawful: either separately
or mingled they are to be followed, of that is no doubt.' Three
kinds of wives are for the Brahman, two for the warrior, the
Vaicya shall only wed in his own caste. The children of
these (wives from different ca~Ses) are on an equality with one
another (all take the father's caste). Let the Brahmanic
wife be the first (of a Brahman), the Kshattriya of a Kshattriya.
For pleasure a iudra is also allowed. But other people say
no. The begetting of offspring with a (uidra wife is not
a thing praised by the good. But if a Brahman begets with a
(Fidra wife, then he must atone for it.2 Let the man of
1 Here we have, in cloka 3-5a, the bestowal form (brahma),
which includes in itself all the firft four of the orthodox scheme,
which are essentially quite the same as it; in 91. 5b-6 the
Gandharva form; in 01. 7 the Asura form (purchase marriage);
in c1. 8 the Rakshasa form (capture marriage). The Paicaca form is
not described. In c1. io kshattra = rakshasa. The account given
by Hopkins, JAOS, xiii, p. 359, I hold to be wrong. Feer, Le
marriage par achat dans 'lInde aryenne, I do not know. Moreover,
Hopkins himself (p. 36) takes rakshasa = kshattra. And Jolly's
remark in Recht und Sitte, p. 49, that in our passage the expression is
used in another way seems to rest on a misunderstanding.
2 While, for example, Manu, iii, 13 ff., holds that for this crime
there is no atonement. According to Mark.-Pur. (Markandeyapurana),
cxiii, 30 ff., the man mufs firft take a wife from his own caste, then
there is no objedion to his marrying one from a lower caste; if he
brings home firft one of a lower caste, then he sinks down into this;
and Agnipurana, cl, I0o- fsates that the children of mixed marriages
take in general the mother's cafte. There are no reftri&ions, in what
the Vishnu, xvi, 2, lays down, as to the offspring of wives of a lower
caste. The law books, indeed, do not speak well of the man's marrying
below him. But Manu, ii, 238, allows the pious man an otherwise
excellent wife from a lowly house (dushkula). Vasishtha, xiii, 51-3,
gives more particular information. The male offspring of the cafteless
man is casteless, but not the female offspring. The woman, indeed,
when she weds goes out of her father's family into the husband's (this
is confirmed by the other law books). A man, therefore, may marry







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
thirty years wed a ten-year-old wife, a nagnika (one that has
not yet menSruated), or let the man of twenty-one get one
seven years old. A man shall never take for himself a woman
that has no brother or no father, for she is under the duty whereby
her sons must be held to be the sons of her father. Three years
shall a maiden wait after the first coming of her menses, but
when the fourth has come, let her get a husband herself.'
She will then never have los offspring and the pleasures of
love. But if she do otherwise, then she offends against Prajapati.
One that on the mother's side is not akin through the offering
to the dead, and not on the father's side through having the
same clan (gotra)-such a wife let a man seek ; this is the law
Manu proclaimed.
Yudhishthira spoke : If one man has given the price,
and another has said : I will give it,' a third demands her with
violence, a fourth shows money, and a fifth has taken hold of
her hand, whose wife is she then, O grandfather ? Be thou
for us, who would know the truth, the eye." Bhishma spoke :
" Whatever be the deed of a human being, it is seen to serve
him in life when it is furnished with holy sayings (mantra),
when it is discussed with them. False words, however, are a
crime leading to the loss of case. Even a wife, a husband,2
a high pries, a master, and the scholar's teacher are deserving
of punishment, if they utter an untruth."
No,' other people say. But Manu does not praise a living
together with reluctance. What is untrue is without glory and
rightness, a harm done to virtue.3 In no man is only perverse-
such a girl, but without a dowry. Cp. Yajfiav., iii, 261. See further
Jolly, Recht und Sitte, p. 61 f.
1 So, too, Manu, ix, 90 ff.; Vasishtha, xvii, 67 f.; Baudhayana,
iv, 1.14. Others, however, give only three mengtruations as the period.
So Gautama, xviii, 20; Vishnu, xxiv, 40. The laSl-named precept
is perhaps of later date. Cp. Narada, xii, 24 ; Yajfiav., i, 64.
2 Or perhaps rather : Even the lord of the wife.
3 Dharmakopana, cp. Pali (e.g. Milindapafiho, p. 266, bhiitagama-
vikopana ; my Dacak., p. 90, line 4 of the text from the bottom) ; and
vidhikopana, v, 29.29 ; prakopayati dharmam, xii, 64.3, here seems =
entangle, ditort; rajye !Rhitim akopayan, xii, 132.5; vidhiprakopa,
v, 29.29; rafigaprakopa (infringement of the laws holding for the
Stage), i, 135.4. Cp. also xii, 135.4.
58







MARRIAGE
ness to be found.1 How should it come to be there, whether
the kinsfolk give the daughter free according to the law, or
whether she is bought ? 2 When the kinsfolk have given
their consent, holy words and sacrifices may be used, then these
words have an effect ; but none whatever in the case of a girl
who is not (anyhow afterwards) given. Yet the mutual contrad
concluded with holy words by the wife and the husband is
declared to be weightier than that concluded by kinsfolk.3
The husband, according to the law's teaching,4 acquires the
wife gi\en by the gods. So he 5 brings to nought the words of

SNothing is altogether good, and nothing altogether bad, is the
teaching of Jat., No. 126; MBh., xii, 15.50.
2 The meaning of the whole oracularly dark statement seems to
be somewhat as follows : In marriage all should be agreed on with
openness and friendliness. But just as no one thing in itself represents
the absolutely right, so, too, none of the various kinds of marriage is
utterly to be reje&ed. Bhishma probably has in his mind the marriage
by capture, which as a warrior and famous maiden-robber, he com-
mended; and as he moreover altogether disapproved of purchase
marriage, not to speak at all of marriage by stealing or fraud (paigaca),
so in the end the better translation is : In the one (that is, capture
marriage) there is no absolute wrongdoing. How, then, does it rightly
arise (why does one accept it), even when a man robs a woman whom,
however, her kinsfolk offer, and who is bought ? Perhaps tadaikena
is to be read instead of tada kena : There is absolutely no wrong-
doing to be found in this one thing : when the kinsfolk give her away
free according to the law ; through one thing (the other) it (the wrong-
doing) then arises: when she is bought." But then the way ofexpression
would be a somewhat twined one. Or lastly yamr prayacchanti might
refer to what follows. But then Bhishma would hardly be answering
Yudhishthira's question. As to the question what is to be done when
a man has taken a girl for himself without her kinsfolk's consent, as in
capture marriage (and Gandharva marriage), we seem to be given an
answer in what follows.
3 That is to say, the important persons are man and wife ; and what
they agree together under holy forms stands good ; whereby, therefore,
capture and Gandharva marriage are shown as founded on law even
w without taking the kinsfolk into account. Cp. Biihler's note to Manu,
iii, 32, in his translation.
Or : at the beheSt of the law (of the god ofjustice) ?
6 Probably the husband, simply by acquiring and holding the woman.







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
gods and men as untrue." Yudhishthira spoke : If the maiden
has already acquired (brought in) the purchase price, and a
better wooer now comes, in whom virtue, love, and advantage
are found in full strength, can we in that case speak of false-
hood ? 1 Here, where from both sides there is the threat of error,
he that has to a&t yet would fain do what is bet. . ." Bhishma
spoke : The father in no wise accepted it with the thought :
'The price is what decides.' For the good never give their
daughter because they are thinking of the price, but, it is from
a wooer endowed with other advantages that the kinsfolk
demand the price when a man gives her away of his own free
choice, decking her out and saying: 'Take her home.'2
And when he thus gives her away, it is no purchase price, no
sale. If he has accepted it, he must then give it (to his
daughter), that is a law never to be broken. If a man has
earlier thus spoken : I will give thee my daughter,' then
those are no words (that does not hold) ; if anyone has said
this, or if he has said : No,' or : Of a truth (none of that
holds). Therefore they woo one another (they woo on both
sides) up to the taking by the hand. The wooer of the maiden
is bestowed by the Maruts, so we have heard. To none
that is not according to her wishes shall a daughter be given.
That is demanded by the Rishis. That is the root of offspring,
which has its root in love. This is what I hold.3 Pondering
1 Or : is a falsehood in that case something blameworthy," the
fa&, that is, of giving the girl to the second ? Less likely : Need
one in that case be telling a lie," that is, be disowning the earlier agree-
ment ? Perhaps the translation is to be taken according to Narada,
xii, 30 : Shall a man then declare (the agreement) as invalid (anrita)
or not ? Is vacyam to be changed to vikyam ?
2 Hardly perhaps : saying : 'Take her home, after having decked
her out ; where, therefore, the purchase price would consiS of
ornaments for the bride, or money for these.
3 In Divyavadana, ed. Cowell and Neil, p. r, we find that three
things muft combine together that there may be children : mata-
pitarau raktau samnipatitau (the loving begetters); 2. mata kalya;
3. ritumati gandharvapratyupaShita. Cp. Windisch, Buddhas Geburt,
etc., 17 f.; L. v. Schroeder, IWurzeln d. Sage vor heil. Gral, 84 f.
On the view that in marriage one must only follow the urge of the
heart see my note Dandin's Dacakumaracaritam, p. 301 f., and with it
60







MARRIAGE
now, know that in this twofold business 1 there lie many
mistakes, for here it is that we have to do with living together.
Hear how the purchase price never decided the matter. I brought
away two maidens for Vicitravirya, having therein overcome
all the Magadhas, Ksiis and Kocalas. Of one the hand had
already been taken, the other: had had the purchase price.
'The girl that has been taken (already by the hand) must be
at once sent away,' said my father. 'Bring the other girl
here.' So spoke the Kuru scion. I asked many others, since
I doubted my father's word ; for my father's thirAt for virtue
and right seemed to me mightily exaggerated.2 Thereupon, O
king, I kept on speaking these words, for I was striving after
the right way : I would fain come to know the right way to
the truth.' When now I had uttered these words, my father
Balhika spoke as follows : If ye believe that it is the purchase
price that decides, and not the taking by the hand, tradition
(smriti) declares: He that has received the purchase price,
may take sqeps for another wedding.' 3 For the law-learned
do not sqate that according to tradition a guiding thread is given
by the words (the agreement in marriage affairs by word of
mouth). Toward those who derive the decision from the
price and not from the taking by the hand, the well-known
expression, too, which speaks of giving the daughter, does not
inspire any truft (that is, it makes them out to be wrong).4
Those who see in the purchase price a sale are not law-learned
Uttarardmacar., v, 17; vi, 12 = Malatimadhavam, i, 27; Kiratarj.,
xiii, 6 (cp. ix, 8) ; my Hindu Tales, p. 81, n. 2 ; p. 184, n. i ; Jataka,
Nos. 68, 237; vol. p. 288, 11. 18 ff.; MBh., xii, 194.27;
Divyavaddna, ed. Cowell and Neil, p. 654; Sister Nivedita, The [Web
of Indian Life, p. 187 ; Chavannes, Ades du XIF. Congres intern. des
orientalises, 1905 (vol. 14), Cinqu. secf., p. 140; Samayam.trika, viii,
23 ; Winternitz, WZKM, xxviii, 20; etc.
1 Panayos, that is, buying and selling of the girl. The word is not
found with this meaning in B6htlingk.
2 For Bhishma thought indeed that he had an equal right to the girl
that had been taken by the hand, since he had won her by capture
and fighting.
3 Lajantaram upasita. BRlhika is the brother of Bhishma's father.
See e.g. also v, 149.14 ff.
4 Probably less likely : it is not convincing to them.
61







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
men.' To such as these a man shall not give his daughter, nor
shall anyone bring home such a woman ; for the wife must
in no wise be bought or sold. Therewith is judgment, too,
uttered on the greedy, the evil-minded, that buy and sell
a woman as slave (concubine)." 2 On this matter folk asked
Satyavant : The payer of the purchase price for a girl, which
latter has had the purchase price, has died, and suppose she had
another man taking her hand ; we are then in doubt as to
what is right. Decide thou this for us . ." Satyavant
spoke : If so ye wish, then give her away. In this a man
need harbour no hesitation. A man so does, even when (the
payer of the purchase price) still lives. If he is dead, then there
is no doubt whatever. The maiden may in such a case unite
herself to her brother-in-law, or once again, following his
guidance only, praise mortification in her longing after the
taking by the hand (after acual marriage). According to
some they (the brothers-in-law) lie with her at once, according
to others gradually (?). Those that speak thus on this matter
know the decision in this present quesion. The same is true
where, before the taking by the hand, an interval goes by, filled
with all the happiness-bringing usages and with holy sayings.3
A fraud, however, is a crime leading to the loss of the caste.
The deciding and culminating point in the holy words of the
hand-taking is in the seventh step (at the wedding ceremony).
She is the wife of him to whom she is given with water.4 Thus
is (the daughter) to be given away, they declare on this matter ;
1 Were it a real, legal sale, then it would unconditionally bind.
2 K. has the less striking reading dasivat like a slave ".
3 Then, too, nothing definitive has happened. The smoother
but rather lame rendering would be: The time leading up to the
taking by the hand is that in which all happiness-bringing usages and
holy sayings are put in pradice."
4 When bestowing an objet on anyone water is poured on his
hands. See, e.g. MBh., iii, 193.36; K.,iv, 78.37 ; Apast., ii, 4, 9.8 ;
Jataka, ii, p. 371 ; Raghuv., v, 59 ; Vetalap. (ed. Vidyasagara), p. I I4
(Kathas.Tar.,93) ; Kathas., i 13,towards the end. The objea is given
with the left hand, with the right the water is poured out (Afigutt.-Nik.,
iv, p. 210; Chavannes, Cinq cents contest et apologues, etc., iii, pp. 367,
383, 388). Hence he that gets the gift is called ardrapani or klinna-
pani.







MARRIAGE
they know the decision. A pleasing, obedient wife, given
away by her brother before the holy fire, her shall the twice-
born one wed, walking round the holy fire." 2
In the next chapter we read among other things: I do
not see that in the following case any ground is given through
the law of the daughter's son : the son of daughters sold belongs
to his father. But those born of the marriage by purchase are
envious, given up to unrighteousness, takers of other men's

1 Or after the Bomb. text: equal in birth," which is also very
good indeed. K. reads anuvagam.
2 The law literature shows very many correspondencies with the
teaching here set forth. Yajfiavalkya, i, 65, indeed, gives us likewise the
well-known maxim : Once only is the maid given away," but goes
on to say that one, however, who has been already given away can be
married away once again, if a better wooer than the earlier one comes;
and in Narada, xii, 30, we find in almost literal agreement with MBh.,
xiii, 44.28: Kanyayam dattaculkayam jyayam~ ced vara avrajet
Dharmarthakamasamyukto, vakyam tatranritam bhavet, If the price
has been given for a maid and a better wooer comes, in whom virtue,
advantage, and love are to be found, then in this case the words are
to be invalid." And in 28-29 he says that the rule : Once it is that
the maid is given away is applicable only in the case of the firs
five kinds of marriage, that is, of the Brahma, the Prajapati, the Rishi,
the Deva and the Gandharva marriages ; in the case of the other three
all depends on the wooers' qualities. That means, then, for mos
cases a nullification of that holy maxim. If a maiden's bridegroom
has died before the wedding has been carried out, then according
to Manu, ix, 97 (cp. 69, 70) she is to be given to his brother; according
to Vasishtha, xvii, 74, Baudhayana, iv, 1.16, even when she has been
solemnly given in marriage, she is to be again married. Vasishtha,
xvii, 72, says the same. In Mahanirvanatantra, xi, 67, it comes as an
order of Civa to marry away such a maiden again. Narada, xii, 24,
lays it down : It' a wooer accepts a maid, and journeys thereupon
into another land, then shall she let three menstruations go by, and
then choose another bridegroom." The basic rule, indeed, that is
followed is: Woman is the field, man the giver of the seed. Only he
that has the seed shall have the field, too (Narada, xii, 19). But neither
the dead, nor the absent man can sow. Cp. my Kautilya, 254.3 ff.;
addit. 254.3-17. But cp., for instance, Dubois-Beauchamp, Hindu
Alrrers and Cujlos, 3rd edit., p. 40, on the later custom, wholly
opposed to this.







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
goods, filled with malice, of evil life. Here those with the
knowledge of olden times bring up the following verses sung
by Yama, they, the wise in the law, they, who are bound to the
law books,1 the bridges of virtue and rightfulness. He that
seeks to earn money through selling his own son, or that for the
sake of his life gives away his daughter for a price, such a.blind
one will feed on sweat, wine, and excrement in the dreadful
hell called Kala, the deepest of the seven." Some call the
yoke of cattle in the Rishi form a purchase price ; that is quite
a mistake. Whether it were small or big there would be a
sale therewith. Even if some have had a custom, it is not thereby
a law for ever. We can see in the world, indeed, the practices
of others too : those that carnally enjoy a maiden who is
forced, such doers of evil will lie in thick darkness.2 Indeed,
1 Or referring to verses : "which are set (written down) in the
law books." With the following cp. Manu, iii, 51 ff.
2 This, of course, does not refer to capture marriage, as the
scholiaft holds, but to rape. That things must not be done which even
gods and holy men have on their reckoning is several times stressed,
as elsewhere, in the MBh. So xii, 291.17-18, 294.7. In xii, 262,
we are given a splendid exposition : The way of life of the good (of
the well-known penitents, etc.) has quite confused the moral ideas;
this way of life (acara) and the books praising it are rubbish washed
up together from everywhere; a man who has some importance in
the world is praised by conscienceless poets greedy for fame, and
everything about him is set up as an example, and so on. [N.B.-A
washed up chip of wood or whisp of fraw of this kind, to use the
language of our text, is to be seen, too, in cl. 24 and 25. They must
be caft away here; then we get a sensible and clear text. (1. 24 is a
doublet to 1l. 30; 1l. 25 must be put before 31.] A pretty lift of the
lewd doings of the gods and holy men is to be found in Dacakumara-
caritam, p. 209 of my translation. Moreover in their case such
" devilish tricks" do not bring about any lessening of virtue (ib.,
pp. 209-10). For the holy man is still unspotted, even when he is in the
service of luft and brandy. Mark.-Pur., xvii, 17 ff. Cp. MBh., xii,
141.67. The poisons of the Samsara are first and foremost wine and
women, and can only be driven out by wine and women (that is, the
devils by Beelzebub). See Mahanirvanatantra, transl. by Arthur
Avalon, p. cxvi and chap. viii, 269. But with both passages cp. what
follows, as also M. N. Dutt in the introd. to his translation, pp. xxi-
xxviii. And this is also a mystical doctrine for the initiated, and has
64






MARRIAGE
anoLner human being must not be sold, how much less so
one's own children From such a possession rooted in wrong
no good can come (or : nothing right can spring). They that
know the times of old bring forward this saying of Pracetasa
(according to Nil. of Daksha) : If the kinsfolk of a maiden
take nothing for themselves, then it is no sale. This is an
honouringg" (a gift of honour arhana) of a girl, and a thing that
shows very good will. And all of it without leaving anything
over must be given up to the girl. Women must be honoured
and adorned by father and brother, father-in-law and brother-
in-law, if they wish to have much happiness. True it is that,
if the wife is not pleased, then the husband, too, is not rejoiced
by her ; and if the husband has no joy, then no offspring grows."
In the 47th chapter it is firft set forth : the Brahman may
take his wives only out of the three higher castes ; if from love,
greed, or baseness he weds a 9(idra, then he must make atone-
ment. In sharing an inheritance the son of his Brahmanic
wife first gets a tenth of the whole estate, that is to say, the most
valuable things, such as carts, bulls, etc. The reft is split up
into ten shares. Of these the son of the Brahman woman gets
four, that of the Kshattriya three, the son of the Vaicya two,
that of the (Cdra wife one, although under the law nothing
whatever falls to him ; for while the Brahman's sons by the
wives from the three higher caftes are Brahmans, he is not one.
He is given a little (alpam) or the tenth part because charity
is the highest virtue, but only if the father grants it to him.
Three thousand at the moft is to be given to the wife as her
share in the estate, and of this property given her by the husband
she shall have the usufruct, which is meet and fitting. The
share in the inheritance given by the husband is for the usufruA

nothing to do with the sensuality of the many. We often find, too,
the assertion that the Brahman who knows the Veda, and perhaps
also praises this or that good work, is pure, even though he were
the moft dreadful of sinners (e.g. Vasishtha, xxvi, 9 ; xxvii, -9 ;
Manu, xi, 262). By deeds that are in any, even the slightest relation
with a particular god, above all (iva and Vishnu, even the moft
shameless offender is wholly cleansed from any ftain. But this is not
the place to go further into this. Cp. J. J. Meyer, Isoldes Gottesurteil,
notes 4. and 43.
D 65







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
of the wives, of this property of the husband nothing shall in any
wise be taken from the wife. But whatever property has been
given the Brahmanic wife by her father, that her daughter is to
have, for she is as the son.1 Yudhishthira wonders at the property
being shared so unequally among the sons of the wives from the
three higher castes, for they are yet all Brahmans. Bhishma
enlightens him: Wife is uttered in the world with one
name only, but within the name thus uttered there is a very
great distintion. If a man has first of all made three (not
Brahmanic) women his wives, and then gets a Brahman woman,
then she is the eldest, she is the honourable one, the head-wife.
The bathing and adorning of the husband, the tooth-cleaning,
and the anointing, the sacrifices to gods and forbears, and all
else that is done in the house on works of the holy law, all this
no other may ever care for, so long as she is there, but the
Brahman woman must attend to it for the Brahman man. Food
and drink, wreath, clothing, and ornaments must be handed to
the husband by the Brahman woman, for she is the most
important. The Kshattriya shall stand altogether beneath her,
the wise man goes on, as the Vaicgy again under the Kshattriys ;
for the warrior caste, as being the royal one, has a very high and
weighty position for the welfare of the world. If a Kshattriya
man, although he is really allowed only two kinds of wives, has
three, then the sons inherit thus : the son of the Kshattriya
woman gets four-eighths and the father's war booty, the Vaigys's
1 The law literature on this point has already been pointed out.
According to this thewife's property (Stridhana) is whatwas given her by
her father, mother, brother, or other kindred, what she received before
the wedding-fire, or in the wedding procession, or from her husband,
whether out of love or as pain-money on his taking a second wife, or
what she has received otherwise since marriage, and then her purchase
price (yulka). This last came to be in Old India, as, for example,among
the old Germans, a gift to the bride. See Narada, xiii, 8; Vishnu,
xvii, 18 ff.; Manu, ix, 194 f.; Yjfiavalkya, ii, 143 ff.; Agnipurana,
pp. 742, 925, etc. Cp.espec.Meyer, Uber das IWesend. altind. Rechls-
scAr., etc., 76-81; 186; Kautilya (transl.), 243.17-245.r9 and
addits.; Benoy Kumar Sarkar, Polit. Instit. and Theories of the Hindus,
28 ff. Worthy of note is Mahanirvanatantra, xii, 2 5,according to which,
over and above this, all she has acquired herself is the wife's property
(cp. xii, I 11).







MARRIAGE
son three, the (udrs's son one, if the father so grants. Of the
property of the Vaicya man the Vailyd woman's son receives
four-fifths, the (9drd woman's one, but again only if the father
gives it him. As the (udra man can only take a (;udra, his sons
naturally all inherit quite equally.'
This favouring of the higher castes is, of course, easy to under-
htand; and just as easy to understand is it that in the Mahabhhrata
also, purchase marriage, not to speak at all of marriage by sealing,
is treated with such contempt, although not only elsewhere in
the world, but in India, too, it is an institution from olden times.
The whole catechism of the ordinary Brahman had only the
one word : Give and the Mahabharata itself shows us in
its Brahmanic parts one ever recurring variation on this one
tone ; from the soft, wheedling words of the glib, sly rascal
(which, however, are those leati often heard) up to the shrill,
crazy screaming of the dirt-begrimed, howling dervish, with
fantastically matted shaggy hair, this all-conquering word of
barefaced beggardom runs right through the mighty Epic.
How then should the Brahmans not have seen the highest
good, and what at least for them was the only dignified course,
in those forms of marriage which imply a giving away of the

1 The law books are usually less hard than the Epic against the
Qludra woman's son. True, Manu, ix, 55, too, lays it down he is to
have what the father finds good to give him; but otherwise, so far as
I can see, this reftri&ion is not found. Gautama, xxviii, 39, allows the
Qudra son, even of an otherwise sonless Brahman, only the means of
subsistence (vrittimila); Vasishtha, xvii, 48-50, pays no heed to him
at all, and so on. According to Baudhayana, ii, 2, 3.10 (= ii, 2.10)
and Yajfavalkya, ii, 125, of the Brahman's sons that of the Brahman
woman inherits four-tenths, that of the Kshattriya three-tenths, that
of the Vaicya two-tenths, that of the Q(fdra one-tenth ; the sons of the
Kshattriya man get three-sixths or two-sixths or one-sixth, those of the
Vaicya man two-thirds or one-third. So, too, Brihaspati, xxv, 27 ff.
and Vishnu, xviii, I if.; only Vishnu says nothing whatever about the
sons of the Vaicya man. Baudhayana and Manu, ix, 153 ff., deem only
a Brahman's sons worthy of a detailed treatment. Brihaspati, xxv, 32,
lays down that the C(iidra woman's son can have one of the ten
shares only where land is not in question. Cp. Bihler's note to Manu, ix,
153 ; Kautilya (transl.), 259.1-19 and addit. 259.27-28.
67







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
bride without, or essentially without, any price being paid !
The warrior, on the other hand, found his pride in quite another
direction. Take was his shibboleth-first of all : Take
for thyself by main force Thou art the strong one and to the
strong belongs the earth." But then it gratifies the pride of the
mighty man if he can say to others : There, take it And
always we are hearing in the Mahabhdrata : The Kshattriya
can only below, never can he let anything be bestowed on
him ; and often the contempt for the Brahman, ever begging
and accepting, finds expression. In the tale of Devayani and
(armishthd we have already seen an example of this. The
warrior, therefore, praised marriage by capture, and with it
the Gandharva marriage, in which latter, likewise, leave was
asked of no one on earth, but the more or less reluctant maiden
was carried off as booty. Not only Krishna, the conscienceless
fellow, who rose to the lofty dignity of highest god from being

1 Cp. MBh., iii, 186.15. Here, too, as is usual in the world, sheer
selfishness, therefore, is the tap-root of progress and of a loftier ethic.
But in saying this we would not deny that there was also a Stream
to be found among the Brahmans, rising from nobler depths; for it
is the Strivings of this very prieStly caste that India has to thank, in
spite of much that is so unpleasing, for an infinity of good and lovely
things in the domain not only of the intelleaual but also of the ethical.
Priestly hands have done dreadful wrongs to the Epic poetry; but on
the other hand, very many splendid treasures, for inStance, of the Indian
mind in narrative literature have been smothered by the pious anointing
oil of the Buddhists and Jains, or at leaft diStorted, and thus, at any
rate, preserved. Hertel in particular has pointed this out. On
the new and the loftier in the world of philosophy, religion, and ethics
the priestly class, however, has never and nowhere on earth looked
with friendly eyes; and the purer ethic in particular has always at
first a hard fight with the religion in power, the upholder of the old
ways. It is full of meaning to find that the founder both of Buddhism
and of Jainism belonged to the warrior nobility. It would Still be left,
then, to show how far the Indian prieStly class in its ethical views, too,
followed its own impulse and not the pressure brought to bear on
it by other se&ions of the population, and probably by isolated Brahmans.
Indeed in the world it is always individuals at first that have risen as
reformers against their times, and it is quite likely that the insurgent
transformers came, too, from the priesthood.
68






MARRIAGE
an obscure new-comer, is set before us as a bold woman-
snatcher (v, 48.74 ; 158.7 f. ; cp. iii, 12.31, I 15 f.),1 and
not only the Arjuna so wrongly praised to the skies by later
revisers of the Kuru saga, but also the truly noble Bhishma.
Among his heroic deeds we often find the abduction of maidens
(e.g. in vi, 13.6 ; xii, 46.13), and when he is dead, his mother
Gariga sings his praises for this, too (xiii, 168.26, 27). Twice
the Mahabhdrata tells the tale of how he carried off the daughter
of the king of Kci for his half-brother Vicitravirya (i, 102 ;
v, 173). In the first and very vivid passage we read : When
now Bhishma, wisest of the wise, saw that his brother had
reached manhood's years, he set his thoughts on finding him a
wife. Then Bhishma heard how the three daughters of the
king of KEgi (like the fairies of heaven they were) were all
holding their choice of a husband. Thereupon this bes of the
chariot-fighters, the overcome of his foes, the mighty one,
with the approval of his mother drove with one chariot to
Varanasi. There Bhishma, (antanu's son, now saw gathered
together the kings that had come from all sides, and these
maidens. But when the names of all the kings were called
out, and the surpassingly glorious maidens saw the lonely, old
Bhishma, they all, as though gripped by an unrest, ran away
from him, with the thought: He is an old man.' 'On
what ground has the Bharata steer shamelessly come hither,
old, with a surpassingly virtuous soul, wearing wrinkles and
white hair ? What will he say, who stands there among the
people a breaker of his vow ? For false is the renown on earth
of Bhishma as one thirsing after charity.' So spoke the low-
souled among the princes, and laughed. When now Bhishma,
the mighty one,heard the words of the Kshattriyas, he was fired
with anger, himself he made these maidens' choice, and spoke
with voice of thunder to the wardens of the earth, as he,
Bhishma, that strikes in all directions, lifted the maidens onto
his chariot: 'The besowal of daughters on valiant men,
when these have themselves been summoned, has been handed

1 In the twenty-sixth chap. of the 5th book of the Vishnupur. and
elsewhere the song is sung of how Krishna carried off Rukmini on the
eve of her solemn wedding with (iqupfla.







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
down in tradition by the wise. While they deck out their
daughters to the best of their power, and even pay money
besides, others offer them for a yoke of cattle. Others win
consent for a fixed sum of money, and others again through force.
Others approach men who are unaware of anything, and others
wed on their own terms.' Others acquire a wife by following
the RIishi way. Then, as the eighth kind, know ye that one
chosen out by the poets.2 The self choice by the maiden
(svayamvara) again is praised and praised by the nobility.
The carrying away by main force of the maiden, however, is
declared by the law-learned to be the best thing.3 These
maidens here, ye herders of the earth, I mean to take away
hence by force. Make ready with all your strength, whether
now it is for victory or for defeat. Here hand I, ye herders
of the earth, resolved to fight.' When he of the heroic
soul, the Kuru scion had thus spoken, to the wardens of the
earth and the king of Kagi, and had lifted all the maidens
onto his chariot and taken leave of the gathering, he drove
swiftly away with these maidens. Then sprang up in rage all
those princes, feeling their arms and biting their lips. Great
was the confusion among them, as in tearing hafte they took
off their ornaments, and girded on their armour. Like the
meeting together of stars was this gathering of all the orna-
ments and the armour from every side,4 owing to the orna-
ments being strewn about here and there with the armour.5
1 Wishing to have the maiden in marriage (prarthita)-in thePraja-
patya form. Cp. Agnipur., 154.Iob; Vishnu's law-book, xxiv, 22.
2 The Gandharva marriage, anyhow, not, as the comm. has it,
the Rakshasa form. It would be possible, of course, to find the
Gandharva form already in anumanya, as K. indeed does. Then the
meaning would be : Know now that this is the eighth kind of taking
home chosen by the wise." Kavi as a matter of fa& in the MBh. quite
usually means the wise man, seer, mater ".
3 Or : They declare the marriage by capture to be the oldest."
4 The armour, too, was ornamented with gold and precious tones.
When Yudhishthira's armour was shot to pieces with arrows in the
fight by night, we read : It fell down in tatters like a swarm of stars
from the sky (vii, 165.39 ; cp. viii, 49.42 f.).
5 Can go with what follows; then we should have a kind of loc.
absol.: "While the ornaments . were being strewed about,
70






MARRIAGE
Their brows were drawn with anger and indignation, and their
eyes reddened ; thus did these heroes climb into their chariots,
made ready by their drivers, shining, harnessed to noble seeds,
and now set out, brandishing their weapons, after the Kuru
scion as he drove off. Then between them and him, between
the one and the many, there was fought a raging, fear-bringing
fight. . But when the best of all arm-bearers had overcome
them in the fight, he went on his way, down to the Bharatas,
the Bharata he. Bhishma, (9ntanu's son, was attacked
from behind by the (;lva king, the great chariot-fighter,
he the man of unfathomed mind, as the warden of the
herd, the tronget of the strong, who is after the female,
thrusts another elephant in the back with his two tusks.1
Yearning for the woman, the prince shouted to Bhishma:
"Stop Stop !" he the qilva king, the strong-armed,
goaded by rage. Then this tiger among men, the tormentor
of the foemen's armies, roused by his words, blazing up
with anger like a smokeless fire, his stretched bow in hand
and his forehead in furrows, faithfully followed the warrior
custom and turned his chariot round to meet the (,lva, without
fear or confusion, he the great chariot-fighter. When all
these kings saw he had turned about, they came up as onlookers
to the meeting between Bhishma and the (Alva. The two
men endowed with strength and valour rushed on one another
like two strong bellowing bulls fighting for the cow. Then
the 9(lva king, the best of men, overwhelmed Bhishma,
(antanu's son, with quick flying arrows in hundreds of
thousands. When now these princes saw Bhishma at first
brought into evil plight by (alva they were astonished and
shouted : Bravo, bravo . When now Bhishma,
(9ntanu's son, the taker of foemen's strongholds, heard the
words of the Kshattriyas, wrathfully he said : Stay, Htay "
And grimly he spoke to his charioteer : Drive to where that
these heroes, whose brows . were drawn with anger, and whose
eyes were reddened," etc. A like inftrum. absol. is repeatedly found
in the Epic. Cp. for example vii, 196.12 ; xii, 264.61-63 ; Ram., ii,
II11.12.
1 As we shall learn later, the (alva king was the secret betrothed
of the eldeft of the princesses







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
king is I will kill him as the prince of birds kills a snake."
Warding off with arrows the arrows of the galva king, Bhishma,
the Kuru scion, brought down his driver, Bhishma the tiger
among the rulers of earth. With Indra's arrow magic he slew
his splendid horses. For the maiden's sake, Bhishma, intanu's
offspring, then let the best of men go off alive. Then Ia'va
went to his city, and the prince thereafter ruled his empire with
justice. And the kings that were there to witness the svayam-
vara, they too went back again to their kingdoms, they the
takers of foemen's strongholds. When Bhishma, the best of
strikers in the fray, had thus won the maidens, he went off to
HaStinapura, where the king, the Kuru offspring, Vicitravirya
the just, ruled this earth, like his father, the Kuru offspring
(qntanu, the best among men. The son of Gariga, in a short
time, went through forests and rivers, mountains and trees of
the most various kinds (the man of boundless valour in the
fray, having worked havoc among the foe, himself unscathed),
and he brought away the daughters of the king of Kdgi, he
the virtuous one, as though they were his daughters-in-law,
as though they were his younger sisters. As though with his
own daughters, the strong-armed one drove into the Kuru
land, and brought them thither, seeking to do his brother's
pleasure. These maidens endowed with every excellence, won
by a hero's prowess, the brother Bhishma handed over to his
younger brother Vicitravirya. He, learned in the law, having
thus carried out in harmony with the law a deed beyond human
powers, went on to marry away his brother Vicitravirya."
In the second account (v, 173 ; cp. 176.44 ff.) given by
Bhishma himself, he declares that it was because the maidens
were viryaculkd (whose price is heroic valour) that he robbed
them (cl. 14) ; and in it he is always calling out : Bhishma,
son of Cqntanu, is robbing the maidens." Duryodhana does the
same as Bhishma. He drives in a gold-decked chariot together
with Karna and other heroes into the royal city of the Kalifigas,
where the princess is to hold her ceremonial choice of a husband,
and a great and splendid band of kings has come together.
Accompanied by her nurse and by eunuchs,1 the young beauty
1 These, of course, show that the tale in at leaft its present form
is of a late date. It is found, too, in the 2th Book.
72






MARRIAGE
walks across the platform, as the kings' names are told her, but
passes by Duryodhana. This hurts his angry pride ; he falls
on her, lifts her onto his chariot, and drives off with her.
The other wooers follow, but in the hot fight they all have to
yield before Karna's incomparable heroism and strength, and
Duryodhana bears off his booty (xii, 4). Bhishma's rape of the
girls had evil results of which we shall hear later, and more-
over kindled an undying enmity between him and the family
of the abduEted maidens. But usually the maidens' kindred
put up with the deed. We even are told, indeed, of a famous
case where from the very start the girl's brother lends his help.
Arjuna during his time of banishment and charity comes
to the Y5idavas in Dvaraka, and there lives with Krishna in the
most intimate friendship. The Vrishnis and Andhakas hold
a festival in honour of the mountain Raivata, whereat men and
women give themselves up to all kinds of frolic and mad
enjoyment. Then we read in i, 219.3 ff. : "While this
wonderful dazzling festival was being held, Krishna and
Arjuna walked about together. Wandering round they saw
there the glorious daughter of Vasudeva, the bedecked Subhadra,
amidst her girl friends. When Arjuna saw her, at once love
woke within him. Krishna saw that his thoughts were of her
only. The tiger among men spoke, laughing slightly : Is
the heart of the forest-dweller stirred by love ? An it please
thee, that is my sister, sprung from the same womb as Sarana,
O son of Prith5, Subhadra her name, my father's beloved
daughter. If thou hast intentions, I will speak with my father."
Arjuna said: "She is Vasudeva's daughter and Krishna's
sister, and lit up by loveliness ; whom would she not, indeed,
ensnare! All my happiness would undoubtedly be fulfilled,
if the Vrishni maiden, this sister of thine, were my wife. But
what means is there to get her ? Tell me of it, O Janardana.
Then I am ready to do anything, if it is possible for a man."
Krishna spoke : The Svayamvara is the way of marriage of
the Kshattriyas, O bull among men, but it is bound up with
doubt and danger because of the whimfulness of woman's
nature. The carrying away by force is also held in honour
by the Kshattriyas. Those wise in the laws know it as the
marriage way of heroes. Do thou, O Arjuna, take my fair






SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
sister by force. For who knows what she will do at the
Svayamvara ? Now when Arjuna and Krishna had made
up their minds how the thing was to be done, they sent
messengers to let Yudhishthira, who was in Indrapraftha,
know of everything. And when the long-armed one had learnt,
the son of Pindu allowed it. Being now authorized in the
matter of this union, and with Krishna's leave, Arjuna, the
Bharata bull, went forth according to Krishna's plan, when
he knew the maiden to be on the mountain Raivataka. In a
chariot whose parts were of gold, which was equipped in full
order, harnessed to (aibya and Sugriva (horses of Krishna),
wreathed with a multitude of little bells, and fitted with all
kinds of weapons, which sounded, too, as the voice of the cloud,
was like unto flaming fire, and destroyed the joy of foes-in this
chariot the bull among men drove forth under pretext of
hunting, armed, clad in armour, wearing his sword, with the
leather protetor for the left arm, and the bowman's finger-cap.
Subhadra was now coming back to Dvaraka, having offered
worship to the mountain prince Raivataka and all the gods,
and had the Brahmans to utter wishes for blessings, and having
wandered to the right round the mountain. Arjuna rushed
down on her, and lifted her into his chariot, he that was tortured
by love's arrow thus did unto Subhadra, lovely in every limb.
Then the tiger among men drove with this brightly smiling
one on the chariot built of gold to his city. But when the
soldiery saw Subhadra being carried off, they all ran shouting
in the direction of the city of Dvaravati. When they had 'all
come to the assembly hall Sudharma,1 they told the warden of
the hall of all this heroic deed of Arjuna. So soon as the warden
of the hall had heard it from them, he beat the drum that
calls to arms, the loud-sounding drum, mounted in gold.
Aroused by this din, the Bhojas, Vrishnis,and Andhakas, leaving
their food and drink, now came rushing up from every side.
A very stormy meeting is now held ; chariots, arms, and
equipment are put into order ; Baladeva, the drunken elder
1 Or perhaps better : When they had swiftly reached the assembly
hall. Abhitas swift, quick is often found in the MBh., although the
di&ionaries give this meaning as unsupported (iii, 3.67; 175.16;
240.1 ; 266.7; 276.4; vii, 113.66; etc.).






MARRIAGE
brother of Krishna, in a fury curses the rascally Arjuna, who
thus repays their hospitality, first eating the food, and then
breaking the vessel, and threatens by himself alone to make
the earth Kaurava-less. But Krishna makes a speech in the
service of virtue and profit : It is not contempt that Arjuna
has shown towards our family, there is no doubt as to that. He
holds you Sdtvatas never to be greedy for gain ; and the son
of Pandu believes that one should not venture on the Svayam-
vara. Who would care, too, like a brute to approve the giving
away of a daughter 1 And the sale, too, of a child-what
human being on earth would choose to carry it out These
mistakes have been seen by Kunti's son, that is what I hold.
That is why the son of Pandu has carried away the maiden
according to law and wont. On the one hand the union is a
fitting one, on the other this so excelling son of Prithl has
actually accomplished the rape of the glorious Subhadra. Who
would not choose, indeed, to have Arjuna, the son of Kunti-
bhoja's daughter, born in the line of Bharata and the famous
(ntanu And I see none that could overcome the son of
Pritha by his might in battle but (iva. . Hasten with the
most friendly words to Arjuna, and thus move him to come
back. This is my mot true opinion. Were Pritha's son to
overcome you, and go back by force to his city, then your
renown would come to nought at one blow. But if there is
friendly appeasing, there is no talk of defeat." Thus is Arjuna
brought back and wedded to Subhadra 2 (cp. also viii, 37.34).
1 Or : the giving away like a head of cattle," that is, her being
given away like a head of cattle.
2 K. after cloka 25 of the Bomb. ed. (which here shows some
difference) has inserted almost I50 clokas, showing a really crazy
distortion. On Krishna's advice Arjuna disguises himself as a Yati,
is honoured by Baladeva and his comrades as a holy man, brought
by Krishna into the apartments of his sister Subhadra, and given into
her care, the cunning fellow spinning a tale to her : For in olden
times the Yati who were of the calling of begging monks dwelt in the
apartments of the Dacarhas' maidens. The maidens that were in the
harem gave them soft and hard foods, according to the time, and were
untiring in it." Arjuna's excellencies have already been praised before
Subhadra by Krishna and others, and she has long quite fallen in love
with the hero through hearsay. Arjuna on his side sighs and groans







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
In vii, 10.33, 55 also, the carrying off of women is hailed
as a great deed of two heroes in Yudhishthira's army (cp. s1.
60, and xii, 45.13). The dying BhTshma praises in vi, 122.17
Karna's heroism, when carrying off maidens. When the
angry (icupala in ii, 41.22, 23 declares that it was an ill deed
of Bhishma to have carried off Amba, who already loved
another, that means little. Moreover he, the rightly thinking
one, let her go again at once, when he came to know of her
inclination. So the abduction of women is seen, too, in the
comparison: Sugarman took the king of the Matsyas as

like a true lover that has ever the obje& of his as yet unfulfilled last
wishes before him. At length she grasps the fa& that the Yati is
Arjuna, and draws him into a jesting talk; he discloses himself, and
they avow their mutual love. From shame Subhadra now falls quite
ill, and after the manner of later literature the love-sickness of the
maiden is described. The whole people with her father at their head
go off to a thirty-four days' festival on an island. Arjuna makes use
of the opportunity (which has been purposely brought about for him
by Krishna and the kinsfolk), and asks of Subhadra the Gandharva
union. Of it he says that it is brought about from passion and the
yearning for sons, and ensures an obedient and fruitful wife ; as opposed
to the other four kinds of marriage this fifth one is entered upon by
the two lovers without holy ceremony and without friends. Next
night he would fain accomplish this marriage with her. But she only
weeps. Then Arjuna at a loss calls up through his thoughts his father
Indra, and the whole hoft of the heavenly and the holy ones (indeed
even the Yadus come with Vasudeva at their head), and they wed him
to the princess. Krishna comes, offers him his chariot, urges him
to go to Khandavaprastha, and then discreetly vanishes away likewise
to the island. Arjuna bids Subhadra to have the chariot harnessed
under pretext of a holy journey, and to bring it thither. She herself then
serves him as a very skilful driver, and finds a great joy when an army
opposes her beloved one, and of course is overcome by him. But
the leader, who has been told of everything by Krishna, jumps from
his chariot, embraces Arjuna, and the hero drives away with his
blessing and good wishes. Then follows qloka 3, I and 2 of the 220th
chapter of the Bomb. ed. being omitted: Rathena kaficanafigena,
together with 4 and 5 ; then a verse to the effect that Arjuna with an
army and Subhadra goes off in the direction of his city. Verse 9 of
the Bomb. ed. comes next, and then the reft essentially the same as
this text (i, 239 ff. in K.).







MARRIAGE
prisoner alive ; lifting him up by force onto his chariot, as
the lover does a maid (yuvati), he drove off with swift steeds "
(iv, 33.8-9).1 However, the carrying off of a bride is often
rather an elopement (e.g. MBh., iii, 224.1-4).
But to carry off the wedded wife of a man, which not only
often among savages and barbarians,2 but, as is well known,
also, for instance, among our Germanic forefathers, was looked
on as a glorious deed, is a thing which is very strongly con-
demned ; and xii, 35.25 lays down an atonement for this

1 It is true that marriage by capture is more than once represented
as wrong, and according to Vasishtha, xvii, 73, and Baudh., iv, 1.15,
a girl that has been carried off, but not wedded to the accompaniment
of the holy song texts, can be given away again as a virgin. But
Vasishtha, i, 34, brings forward this very form as that of the Kshattriyas
(kshattra), and Baudh., i, I I, 20.12 holds that it and purchase marriage
correspond with the laws or customs of the warrior nobility; so also
Manu, iii, 24 and 26. Mark.-Pur. states in cxxxiii, 27 ff. that it is
ftill better for the warrior than the Gandharva marriage, and in cxxii ff.
Prince Avikshita carries off many princesses at their Svayamvara,
because they do not choose him out; his heroic mother praises him for
it, when he has been taken prisoner in the fight thus brought about,
and fires him on to go to war. And there are other such cases. It
has often been lated that the very name Rakshasa marriage points to the
Aryans having found this form, as also the Asura or purchase marriage,
already among the primitive population, and called it thus after them
(e.g. J. Lippert, Kulturgesch. d. MenschAeit, 1887, Bd. ii, p. 95 ;
Anthropos, iv, pp. 7 ff., especially i 0; vii, 102). It would be easy to
see how, corresponding to these names, those may have been invented
for the other kinds of marriage. But probably the Aryan settlers
did not have to be introduced by the aborigines to such ways of
marriage; and I think the terminology arose rather from the
" Brahmanic" kind, it being interpreted as Brahma marriage".
Both marriage by capture and marriage by purchase are, indeed, Indo-
Germanic. See e.g. Feist, Indogermanen, 305-308.
2 Of the American Indians, for instance, we often are told that the
Stronger man simply takes his wife away from the weaker, just as the
men do in the knightly age of Europe; and among the pre-Islamic
Arabs it was looked on as highly praiseworthy to take for oneself
the wifeof the beaten foe (see e.g. Anthropos, v, pp.983 ff.; Welhausen,
Getting. Nachr. 1893, p. 435). To the conqueror, indeed, is the
booty. See too 5 Moses, 21.o1 ff.







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
crime. Even from the robber it is expected that he shall keep
from stealing women, as also from intercourse with the wives
of others (xii, 133.17) ; cp. what the pious robber in 135. 3, 14
demands from his men.1 In the list of Cicupila's sins it is also
remarked that he has stolen a man's wife, also, however, that
he has carried off a girl, though, indeed, not for marriage
(ii, 45.10 f.).2
The Svayamvara, which has been spoken of in the tales we
have just given, is one of the splendours of the Indian Epic,
not only of older times, but also of later times, and is also often
found in the prose tales. It is perhaps generally known from
the song of Nala and DamayantT. It was assuredly never a
universal custom, but was confined to daughters of Kshattriyas,
especially royal princesses. Therefore, at least in the view of the
warrior nobility, only this nobility had the right to such
wooing.3
In Mahabh., i, 122, several kings desire Kunti, her that is
adorned with the highest womanly perfections. Her father
holds a Svayamvara for her. When she sees the glorious
Pandu among the kings, she is at once fired with love, shyly
hangs the garland on his shoulder and the wedding is held

1 In Anguttaranikaya, iv, p. 339, we read that among the eight
qualities that kept a great thief or a professional robber on a bigger
scale from a speedy fall, and made it possible for him to carry on for a
long time, there was this one : He does not kill a woman, he forces
or deflowers no maid."
2 Brihaspati, xxii, 18, enjoins that he who steals a married woman
shall be burned on a red-hot gridiron with a straw fire.
3 Hopkins holds that this splendid knightly Svayamvara of the Epic
is not a survival from earlier times, but a later growth, and he is probably
quite right. He distinguishes, then, two kinds: the older primitive
self-choice, and the later splendid form (JAOS, xiii, I68, I69, 357,
360). The fairest Svayamvara in the Epic, Savitri's, is on very simple
lines, and only at it is the maiden quite free in choosing her husband.
As we know, Savitri drives in her chariot through the land and thus
makes an inspe&ion, a proceeding that by no means fits into the frame-
work of the usual or court tales of the Svayamvara. In the house of
King Mandhatar it is, at lear according to his words, the custom
for the daughters themselves to choose their husband in freedom.
Wilson's Vishnupurana, iii, 270.







MARRIAGE
without further hindrance. The same thing exafly happens
in Damayanti's case, although here there is some slight banter-
ing by the gods.1 But generally things do not go on so smoothly,
a thing of which the literary Epic of later times has likewise
made use. So Krishna overcomes the angry rivals, and
triumphantly carries off the daughter of the king of the
Gandharas.
From more than one point of view the self-choice by
Draupadi is interesting (i, 184 ff.). It belongs to that probably
older variety where there is no question of the girl's making a
choice, but the decision is reached through a trial of warrior
skill.2

1 Things would seem to go just as peacefully with Devika, who
chooses Yudhishthira, and with Vijayd, who chooses Sahadeva, while
Bhimasena gets Balamdhara as viryagulka (i, 95.76 ff.). But here
we have only a short account. This comparison is inftrucive : As
at a Svayamvara they (the warriors) rained blows on one another in
the turmoil of the fight (vi, 93.42). Cp. Markandeyapur., cxxii ff.;
cxxxiii, 8 ff.
2 It is a fight or a contest that often gives the decision between
rivals for a girl among primitive peoples (Westermarck, 159-163 ;
McLennan, Primitive Marriage, 181). The winning of a bride
through skill with the bow, which is often found in India, we find
reported also oftheAmerican Indians (Finck, Primitive Love, pp. 57-58)
as also the widespread bow that can only be stretched by the strongest
man (Boas, Chinook Texts, p. 80). On the other hand in the Shahnameh
the choosing of a husband by Katajun, who hands Gushtasp
a rose-wreath, and so makes him her husband, reminds us strongly
of the typical Indian scenes. So, too, for instance, the Buddhiftic
tale in Schiefner, Bull. d. Petersburger Ak., Bd. xxiii, col. 23 ff., is quite
after this style of tale. There we find : Thereupon the king made
proclamation in various lands and cities that his daughter was going
to hold a ceremony for choosing a husband, and had that city cleansed
of rubbish, stones, and potsherds, sprinkled with sandal-water, and made
fragrant with sweet perfumes, awnings, banners, and flags set up,
many silken hangings hung with flowers of many kinds, like a grove
of the gods, and the joyous proclamation made : Hear ye, O honour-
able city and country-dwellers, and the throngs of people come from
various parts Forasmuch as the King's daughter is minded to-morrow
herself to make her choice of a husband, do ye gather together as is
meet and fitting.' Next morning the king's daughter, wearing many







SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT INDIA
Pandu's sons, who with their mother have escaped from the
burning of the house of resin, and have to wander about the
world unknown, go disguised as Brahmans, to witness Draupadi
making her choice of a husband. On the way they meet with
a great band of Brahmans, and are cheerfully hailed by them :
" Come at once with us into the land of the Paficalas, to Dru-
pada's palace ; a great Svayamvara with vast pomp is going to
be held there. We set out as one united band of travellers, and
are going thither. For it will be a wondrous splendid, and very
great festival there. The daughter of Yajfiasena, of the great-
souled Drupada, is she who came forth from the midst of the
sacrificial altar, she with the lotus-leaf eyes, worthy to be seen,
with faultless limbs, very gentle and understanding, the sister
of Dhrishtadyumna, the foe of the Dronas, and shining with
power, who was born from the brightly glowing fire, armoured,
sword-girt, with bow and arrow, long-armed, like unto fire.
His sister is she, the slender, faultlessly-limbed Draupadi,
from whom is wafted a kroca away a scent like that of the blue
lotus. We go to behold Yajfiasena's daughter, awaiting with
longing the Svayamvara, and to see this divine high festival.
There will come thither kings and kings' sons, rich in sacrifices,
bestowing many gifts, zealous in the holy study, pure and noble-
hearted and pious, young and handsome, journeying from
various places, and great chariot-fighters and princes skilled in
kinds of ornaments, ringed round by many maidens, came into a
grove decked with flowers by the god thereof, surpassing fair through
the great gift of happiness, while in the middle of the city many
thousand people had gathered together, (she came) into the gathering
to choose herself a husband. Kshemafikara (the blind son of a
king, going about as a beggar) also sat at another place, playing the
lute. As men stand in reciprocal relation according to their deeds,
and through the great power of the cause the power of the effect
is aimed at, so the king's daughter, when her mind was touched by
the notes of the lute, clung fast to Kshemafikara's lute as he played,
and saying: 'This is my man,' she threw the flower wreath over
him." The same tale is found in Chavannes, CinF cents contest et
apologues, ii, pp. 389 ff., see especially pp. 393 ff. Dozens of tales,
indeed, especially Jain, at a later time describe such events. Cp.
also Basset, Contes et Ligendes Arabes, Revue des trad. popul., xiv,
p. 118.




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs