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Vedic women
21 x 28.5", acrylic on paper

"It is said that Vedic India saw the near perfect state of equality between men and women.  Unlike their successors who suffered under Manuís unfair code, Vedic women had the right to education and employment. Even marriage was considered a kind of joint partnership and not subservience as it was construed during the later Vedic times. Rig Veda talks of the seven steps taken during marriage and the vows taken based on mutual respect: 

A friend thou shall be, having paced these seven steps with me. Nay, having paced the seven steps, we have become friends. May I retain thy friendship, and never part from thy friendship. Let us unite together: let us propose together. Loving each other and ever radiant in each otherís company, meaning well towards each other, sharing together all enjoyments and pleasures, let us join our thoughts.

(Taittiriya Ekagnikanda, I iii, 14. ; Sastri, 1918.)

I like to believe that such equality and respect must have made the vedic women  poised and confident. Women like Gargi and Maitreyi were intellectuals of the time.  This was also an era of great fashion consciousness when the jewelry and cosmetic industry flourished. Incidentally lipstick, henna and intricate hairdressing had its origin in India.

This painting depicts Vedic women charming and confident ready to take on the world." 

 

 

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Last Updated: August 22, 2000

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