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Interconnectivity of Marriage, Sexuality and Streedharma: Reflections through the Minor Female Characters of the Mahabharata

Praggnaparamita Biswas

Asiatic Society, Kolkata. Email: praggnaparamitabi@gmail.com

    Volume 1, Number 3, 2016 I Full Text PDF

Article DOI:  10.21659/bp.v1n3.s207

Abstract

Mahabharata, the outstanding sacred text of India, is a preamble to the Indian social philosophy. This prehensile text encompasses all sorts of contemporary feminist agendas like gender discrimination, sexuality, female body politics, women disposition, marriage, kinship and so on. Dharma, being the focal point of Mahabharata, acts as a catalyst in outlining the epical structure of this sacred text. Anthropological elements like marriage, sexuality, lineage, motherhood etc. somehow maintain interlink with dharma, particularly with the streedharma. Thus, the symbiotic relationship of sexuality, marriage and streedharma helps in formulating the code of conduct for women of that era. The present paper intends to analyze the aforementioned anthropological issues through the lives of minor female characters who by dint of their courage and dedication change the track of the epic. Though the epical minor females are somehow nugatory or unrecognized due to politics of gender politics, but they are the most viable for situational decision of royal as well as epical design. Therefore this paper tries to justify their strong epical presence and hidden epical politics bestow upon them.

 Key words: Sexuality, Streedharma, Gender politics, Polyandry, Niyoga pratha, Reproductivity.