Can the Rig Vedic Age Teach Us How to Help Our Women?


India has a rich culture to showcase the entire world. With a diversity that is explicit, India boasts of a divine culture dating back to the days when the Rig Vedic Age was at its dominant streak. The status of women then and the status of women now in India have a lot in common. However, somewhere between the thin lines of similarity, a gorge of disrespect and distortion exists today. Can the status of the women of the Rig Vedic Age inspire the outburst of feminism today? Read on to find out.


  • The Rig Vedic Age was overtly patriarchal in nature, but, it still followed an egalitarian approach to some degree in the societal functions. Given that it was a male-dominated society, the women were respected and they held a position of power when it comes to the family functioning.
  • Women were not the suppressed section but were given equal opportunity and role in the society. It can be evidenced by the fact that marriage was considered sacred in the society and the presence of a wife beside a man was essential at the time of the religious ceremony.
  • Respect for women can also be shown from the fact that widow remarriage was permitted and levirate too was persistent in the society.
  • Women were given their due respect when it comes to their decision-making power. It is said in the Rig Veda that a woman could choose to stay with her father or her brother when she chose not to marry.
  • Women were allowed to attend the Sabha and Samiti where important decisions were made, therefore, showing that their voices were heard in the gathering.
  • The importance of women can also be gauged from the fact that they have created and written several hymns in the Rig Veda. Some of the female goddesses like Aditi and Usha, who were although less popularly mentioned in Rig Veda, signified the dawn, an important phenomenon.
  • Even though the Rig Vedic Age was patriarchal in nature, they gave due respect to their women with regard to their freedom and desire and were not overtly suppressed.

If women were highly praised back then, what led to their downfall? And, even though the society has finally understood the significance of the equality of men and women, why do we get to see atrocities inflicted on women even today? Give it a thought till I return with my next post.




10 thoughts on “Can the Rig Vedic Age Teach Us How to Help Our Women?

  • The “Brahmanyavaad” had influenced the downfall of the womenfolk to some extent. Besides, with the invasion of the Mughals, Turks, the position and power of women in the society slowly lost. This is a simple explanation, though. The topic demands a much deeper probe… πŸ™‚

    • Yeah, exactly Maniparna Sengupta Majumder.
      This post came to my mind when I started reading about the Gupta Period. Though it was glorious period politically and culturally, it has one negative associated with it (it’s my understanding) i.e subjugation of women started by writing regressive laws in the religious scriptures. As the Gupta empire grew in it’s stature, the Brahmins became powerful, and to remain in power, they started writing laws in the scriptures which proved deterimental for society in general and women in particular.

      And you are right, the topic indeed require a deeper probe, mine may be a single way understanding. But change in mindset require time, and I am and forever want to be optimistic about it.

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