“NIYOGA”- wife sharing tradition in hinduism

Hinduism allows Niyoga . In simple words ‘Niyoga’ means sending a married woman or widow to a particular man for sexual intercourse so that she gets a son. Indication of this custom is available in Rig Veda. Woman was also sometimes even forced to have sexual intercourse with men in the custom of ‘Niyog’. ‘Devtas, Rishis, Munis’ and ‘Brahmins’ used to participate in ‘Niyog’to satisfy their lust and desires. (see ‘Mahabharata Aadi Parv; chapters 64,95,103, 104).

There is a law in Hindusim that a woman or a man could have sexual intercourse with eleven persons.Niyoga “can be entered into even in the lifetime of the husband (or of the wife)”, according to the Swami. And he quotes the Rig Veda: “When a man is incapable of producing children, let him address his wife as follows:

O Thou that art desirous of getting children do not expect me to raise off-spring upon thee. Do thou, therefore, seek another husband.” So,If no child was born from the one, then a woman could go to another. If even then she was unable to beget a child, then she could go to the third and so on till she had intercourse with eleven men (Dayanand’s commentary on Rig Veda, 10/85/45).

Let’s have a look what other Hindu Scriptures says about Niyoga.

It is mentioned in Sutras,

Gautama Dharma Shastra 18.4 A woman whose husband is dead and who desires offspring (may bear a son) to her brother-in-law. [6] (On failure of a brother-in-law she may obtain offspring) by (cohabiting with) a Sapinda, a Sagotra, a Samanapravara, or one who belongs to the same caste.
Baudhyana Dharma Sutra 2.2.4.7-9 A widow shall avoid during a year (the use of) honey, meat spirituous liquor, and salt, and sleep on the ground. Maudgalya (declares that she shall do so) during six months. After (the expiration of) that (time) she may, with the permission of her Gurus, bear a son to her brother in law, in case she has no son.

It is mentioned in Puranas,

Garuda Purana ch 95 ”The younger brother of a husband, may go unto a childless wife of his elder brother for the purpose of begetting an offspring on her person with the permission of his elders, first had and obtained in that behalf, and with his body annointed with clarified butter.” Tr. M.N. Dutt
Kurma Purana 2.22.98 ”…a son born of the Niyoga rite should perform Sraddha to his progenitor as well as the dead husband of his mother. Then he shall be the true heir. If a son is born out of the semen virile without the sanction of Niyoga, the son should offer Pindas to the progenitor. However, he may perform Sraddha to the Ksetrin (mother’s husbands).” Tr. G.V. Tagare

It is mentioned in Vishnu Smriti,

Vishnu Smriti 15.1-3 Now there are twelve kinds of sons. The first is the son of the body, viz. he who is begotten (by the husband) himself on his own lawfully wedded wife. The second is the son begotten on a wife, viz. one begotten by a kinsman allied by funeral oblations, or by a member of the highest caste, on an appointed (wife or widow).

It is mentioned in Yajnavalkya Smriti,

Yajnavalkya Smriti, Book 1 Achara Adhyaya, chapter 3, verse 68 ”The younger brother of the husband, a Sapinda or a Sagotra, being anointed with clarified butter, and with the permission of the Guru, may go to a sonless widows, when in season, with the desire of raising a son.” Tr. R.B.S. Chandra Vidyarnava

Maharshi Manu writes,

Manu Smriti 9.190 ”Let the widow of a deceased, sonless man get a son procreated on her person by a man of her husband’s Gotra (i.e., his younger brother, or a Sapinda relation), and let the entire estate of that deceased person be invested in that son.” Tr. M.N. Dutt
Manu Smriti 9.59 ”In the absence of a son, a woman wishing to obtain a progeny, shall lie down under an appointment, with a younger brother, or with a Sapinda relation, of her husband for the procreation of a son.” Tr. M.N. Dutt
Manu Smriti 3.173 ”He, who, otherwise than under an appointment of begetting a son on her, visits the widow of his deceased elder brother, out of passion, is called the husband of a deceased elder brother’s widow.” Tr. M.N. Dutt

Niyoga in Manu is obscure. There are couple of stories which proves Niyoga existed in the Vedic period, Niyoga was perhaps also used to satisfy the desire which is evident from the story of Muni Vyasa and maid servant. Sage Vasistha the son of Mitra-Varuna had contracted Niyoga with the wife of a King,

Mahabharata 1.179 ”…O best of Brahmanas, I desire to obtain from thee that by which, O foremost of all that are conversant with the Vedas, I may be freed from the debt I owe to the race of Ikshvaku! O best of men, it behoveth thee to grant me, for the perpetuation of Ikshvaku’s race, a desirable sonpossessing beauty and accomplishments and good behaviour.’ “The Gandharva continued, ‘Thus addressed, Vasishtha, that best of Brahmanas devoted to truth replied unto that mighty bowman of a monarch, saying, ‘I will give you…After the royal sage had entered his capital, the queen, at the king’s command, approached Vasishtha. The great Rishi, making a covenant with her, united himself with her according to the high ordinance. And after a little while, when the queen conceived, that best of Rishis, receiving the reverential salutations of the king, went back to his asylum. The queen bore the embryo in her womb for a long time. When she saw that she did not bring forth anything, she tore open her womb by a piece of stone. It was then that at the twelfth year (of the conception) was born Asmaka, that bull amongst men, that royal sage who founded (the city of) Paudanya.” Tr. K.M. Ganguli

This story is also mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam 9.9. This king was cursed thus he couldn’t impregnate his wife and requested Vasistha to impregnate her. But why did Vasistha do that when he could have just discharged semen in a pot and give birth to a son just like he was born or else use his mystic power to remove the curse. Another sage named Dirghatama had done similar act with the wife of King Bali named Sudeshana but the King wasn’t cursed,

Mahabharata 1.104 ”The virtuous Vali, ever devoted to truth, then learning who the man was that was thus saved by him, chose him for raising up offspring. And Vali said, ‘O illustrious one, it behoveth thee to raise upon my wife a few sons that shall be virtuous and wise.’ Thus addressed, theRishi endued with great energy, expressed his willingness. Thereupon king Vali sent his wife Sudeshna unto him. But the queen knowing that the latter was blind and old went not unto him, she sent unto him her nurse. And upon that Sudra woman the virtuous Rishi of passions under full control begat eleven children of whom Kakshivat was the eldest…Thy unfortunate queen Sudeshna, seeing me blind and old, insulted me by not coming herself but sending unto me, instead, her nurse.’ The king then pacified that best of Rishis and sent unto him his queen Sudeshna. The Rishi by merely touching her person said to her, ‘Thou shalt have five children…” Tr. K.M. Ganguli

Let me show you the ugly side of this Rishi Dirghatama,

Matsya Purana 48.67-76 ”After that, King Bali appeased that sage and was furious with his wife; and sent her again well-dressed, after her toilet, to the sage, when the seer said. ”O. Devi! Cast off your bashfulness and then lick the whole of my body with your tongue, after rubbing it with salt, curds and honey; you will then attain your wish and get sons.” The queen followed the directions of the seer, but omitted to lick the hind private parts. When the sage said; ”O, blessed one! Your eldest son will be without that part of the body which you have omitted to lick.” The queen said:- ”Sire! It is not worthy of you to bless me with such an offspring. Be pleased at my devotion and show your mercy to me.” Dirghatama said:- ”O, Blessed one, through your fault this will happen exactly as I have told you and this son of yours will not delight you in any way, but your grandson will; he will, however, not feel the necessity of the missing part of his body.” Then the sage, touching her abdomen, said, ”O, queen because you have licked all parts of my body except the privates, your sons will be like the full moon, and, in all you will be blessed with five sons of Divine beauty who will be most illustrious, renowned, righteous and performers of sacrifices.” Tr. Taluqdar of Oudh, Edited by B.D. Basu

Why does the Rishi need to do this shameless act? It is indeed true from the above verses of Mahabharata that NIYOGA is a dirty yuck-yuck practice of Hinduism. Remember NIYOGA practice has importance in Hinduism just in order to get a SON. Because Hindus hates FEMALE BABIES.Because female babies bring unfortune to them.

A sage named Angira had also contracted Niyoga with the wife of Rathitara,

Srimad Bhagavatam 9.6.2-3 ”Rathītara had no sons, and therefore he requested the great sage Aṅgirā to beget sons for him. Because of this request, Aṅgirā begot sons in the womb of Rathītara’s wife. All these sons were born with brahminical prowess.— Having been born from the womb of Rathītara’s wife, all these sons were known as the dynasty of Rathītara, but because they were born from the semen of Aṅgirā, they were also known as the dynasty of Aṅgirā. Among all the progeny of Rathītara, these sons were the most prominent because, owing to their birth, they were considered brāhmaṇas.” Tr. Swami Prabhupada

King Pandu was also born of Niyoga. After his marriage he urged his wife Kunti to contract Niyoga with other men and beget offspring. Pandu’s biological father was Muni Vyasa,

Devi Bhagavatam 6.25.1-10 ”Vyasa said :– OKing! The mother became astonished to hear me. Becoming very anxious for a son, she began to speak to me. O Child! The wife of your brother, the daughter Ambalika of Kasiraj, is a widow; she is very sorrowful; she is endowed with all auspicious signs and endowed with all good qualities; better cohabit with that beautiful young wife and get a child according to the tradition of the S’istas…Seeing me an ascetic with matted hairs on my head and void of every love sentiment, perspiration came on her face; her body turned pale and her mind void of any love towards me. When I saw that lady trembling and pale beside me, I angrily spoke :– “O One of beautiful waist! When you have turned out pale, considering your own beauty, let your son be of a pale colour.” Thus saying I spent there that night with Ambalika. After enjoying her I took farewell from my mother and went to my place.” Tr. Swami Vijnananda

Can you imagine folks! How dirty this sounds. Instead of marrying her off to another man, Instead He himself is having sex with the widow of his brother and enjoying with her under the pretext of giving her a Son. How could that man know that from that intercourse son shall be born? What if female baby is born after 9 months? In the name of the ugliest practice NIYOGA, Hindus had destroyed lives of numerous women and tortured them physically and raping them.

Muni Vyasa was appointed to cohabit with the princess but at first the princess sent a maid. Despite knowing that it was a maid servant Muni Vyasa enjoyed her. Vyasa speaks about it in the following way,

Devi Bhagvatam 6.25.11-21 ”Ambika sent to me a maid-servant of Vichitravîrya, full of youth and beauty, and adorned with various ornaments and clothings. That maid-servant of beautiful hairs and of a swan-like gait adorned with garlands and red sandal-paste, came to me with many enchanting gestures and making me take my seat on the cot, became herself merged in love sentiments. O Muni! I became pleased with her gestures and amorous sports and passed the night, full of love towards her and played and cohabited with her.” Tr. Vijnananda

The story of Muni Vyasa cohabiting with the maid servant is also mentioned in Devi Bhagavatam 2.6.1-12. King Pandu was afflicted with a curse and thus couldn’t approach his wife for carnal purpose. But he did not hesitate in ordering his wife to cohabit with other men,

Mahabharata, Adi Parva 1.120 ”Hearing these words of the ascetics, Pandu, remembering the loss of his procreative powers owing to the curse of the deer, began to reflect deeply. And calling his wedded wife the excellent Kunti, unto him, he told her in private, ‘Strive thou to raise offspring at this time of distress… The religious institutes mention six kinds of sons that are heirs and kinsmen, and six other kinds that are not heirs but kinsmen. I shall speak of them presently. O Pritha, listen to me. They are: 1st, the son begotten by one’s own self upon his wedded wife; 2nd, the son begotten upon one’s wife by an accomplished person from motives of kindness; 3rd, the son begotten upon one’s wife by a person for pecuniary consideration; 4th, the son begotten upon the wife after the husband’s death; 5th, the maiden-born son; 6th, the son born of an unchaste wife; 7th, the son given; 8th, the son bought for a consideration; 9th, the son self-given; 10th, the son received with a pregnant bride; 11th, the brother’s son; and 12th, the son begotten upon a wife of lower caste. On failure of offspring of a prior class, the mother should desire to have offspring of the next class. In times of distress, men solicit offspring from accomplished younger brothers. The self-born Manu hath said that men failing to have legitimate offspring of their own may have offspring begotten upon their wives by others, for sons confer the highest religious merit. Therefore, O Kunti, being destitute myself of the power of procreation, I command thee to raise good offspring through some person who is either equal or superior to me. O Kunti, listen to the history of the daughter of Saradandayana who was appointed by her lord to raise offspring.” Tr. K.M. Ganguli

King Pandu also ordered his wife Kunti to conceive children with the Sun god Surya,

Mahabharata 1.123 “Vaisampayana said, ‘O Janamejaya, when Gandhari’s conception had been a full year old, it was then that Kunti summoned the eternal god of justice to obtain offspring from him. And she offered without loss of time, sacrifices unto the god and began to duly repeat the formula that Durvasa had imparted to her some time before. Then the god, overpowered by her incantations, arrived at the spot where Kunti was seated in his car resplendent as the Sun. Smiling, he asked, ‘O Kunti, what am I to give thee?’ And Kunti too smiling in her turn, replied, ‘Thou must even give me offspring.’ Then the handsome Kunti was united (in intercourse) with the god of justicein his spiritual form and obtained from him a son devoted to the good of all creatures. And she brought his excellent child, who lived to acquire a great fame…And this first child of Pandu shall be known by the name of Yudhishthira. Possessed of prowess and honesty of disposition, he shall be a famous king, known throughout the three worlds.’

Not to confuse this consensual sex with the rape. When Surya raped Kunti a son named Karna was born, see Devi Bhagavatam 2.6.36-48 and it happened before her marriage. While the above one happened after her marriage to King Pandu and a son name Yuddhishtira was born. So both these are two different stories. As Hindu scripture permits Niyoga, King Pandu had absolutely no problem with it. He kept on asking his wife to contract Niyoga with many men.

In Niyoga system a woman can have sexual intercourse with up to “eleven” Men, one after the other, for raising children; and in a marriage where the husband is sterile or the wife suffers from a chronic disease; and also “If a man be not able to control his passions while his wife and she is pregnant, he may contract Niyoga with (a widow) and beget offspring on her.”[ Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Light Of Truth, pp. 133-138, 140. ]

Niyoga “is the temporary union of a person with an-other of the opposite sex”,for the purpose of producing children.–(Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Light Of Truth, p. 731)

Swami Dayananda quotes the Rig Veda as saying:
“O thou who art fit to procreate and art strong, do thou raise upon the married wife or upon these widows, with whom thou hast contracted Niyoga, good children, and make them happy. Do thou beget with on thy married wife ten children, and consider her the eleventh (member of thy family). O woman! Let ten children be raised on thee by the married husband or thy husbands by Niyoga and do thou consider thy husband as the eleventh (mem-ber of thy family.”–(Rig Veda X, 85, 48). (LOT, pp. 131-132).

“A man may also contract Niyoga with eleven women (one after the other), just as a woman may enter into the relation of Niyoga with eleven men (one after the other)”, the Swami wrote, citing the Rig Veda, X, 85, 45: “…..take unto thyself the eleventh husband by Niyoga.”–(LOT, p. 136).

The woman seeking to contract Niyoga, should, however, continue to serve her husband by marriage; similarly when a woman on account of some chronic disease is rendered incapable of bearing children, let her address the following words to her husband. “My Lord! Do not expect me to bear any children. Do thou, therefore, contract Niyoga with a widow.” (LOT, p. 137).

This disgusting arrangement would seem to have the potential for breaking up a marriage, or engender adultery, should either the husband/wife find that one of the men/women of Niyoga to be more fulfilling than his or her spouse.

Niyoga may be entered into by a husband while his wife “is pregnant”, as Swami Dayanand states: “If a man be not able to control his passions while his wife and she is pregnant, he may contract Niyoga with (a widow) and beget offspring on her, but let him never misconduct himself with a prostitute or commit adultery.”–(LOT, p. 140). And if the husband cannot equal his wife’s passion, or if he suffers from some prolonged emasculating ailment and she cannot control her passions, the wife by contracting Niyoga with other Men can satisfy herself. Like, as stated above, this relation would seem to have the potential of being a home-wrecker or encourage adultery.

In Islam, marriage is for life. If spouses are not fulfilling to the other, they are allowed to end the marriage. But in Hinduism Men and Women can have sex with other people remaining within the marriage contract. This is just disgusting. Yuck!!
The unchaste Hindu woman is also subjected to a ritual: “A woman who has been unchaste should worship Siva in his calm aspect, Siva who is Kama. Then she should summon a Brahmin and give herself to him, thinking, ‘This is Kama who has come for the sake of sexual pleasure.’ And whatever the Brahmin wishes, the sensuous woman should do. For thirteen months she should honour in this way any Brahmin who comes to the house for the sake of sexual pleasures, and there is no immorality in this for noble ladies or prostitutes.”

Don’t such people have wives to relieve their desire? Seems like the Rishis created these Niyoga verses to satisfy their whims and lust. I feel very sorry for Hindu women who lived during the ages of dark period where Brahmins pounce upon them to satisfy their sexual desires.

Chastity of woman was not at all safe, In the name of ‘beejdan’ (seed donation/ sperm donation), they(brahmins and hindu men) used to have sexual intercourse with issueless women.Innumerable women they had sex with.This was a cruel religious custom and the chastity of women was not safe. The so-called caretakers of the religion were allowed to have sexual intercourse with another man’s wife. From ‘Niyog pratha’, it can be inferred without fear of contradiction that the women were looked upon as mere child-producing machines.

In ‘The Position of Women in Hindu Civilization’, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar writes: “Though woman was married to a man, she was considered to be the property of the entire family. But she was not getting share out of the property of her husband, only the son could be the successor to property.”

Gajdhar Prasad Baudh says: “No woman of the Vedic age can be treated as pure. Vedic men could not keep even the relations between brother-sister and father-daughter sacred from the oven of rape and debauchery / adultery named ‘Niyog’. Under the influence of intoxication of wine, they used to recognise neither sister nor daughter and also they did not keep in mind their relations with them. It is evident from their debauchery and adultery what the miserable plight of women was in the society then. (Refer ‘Arya Niti Ka Bhandaphor’, 5th edition page 14).

Till such a time as these teachings have an overwhelming influence, the improvement in the position and status of the women is next to impossible. I feel very sorry for those Hindu women who lived during the dark ages and what they went through.

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One thought on ““NIYOGA”- wife sharing tradition in hinduism

  1. Roy

    It may be contrary to Islamic teachings. But it doesn’t give anyone any right to insult Niyoga or Hinduism. I nevertheless find Niyoga a fascinating subject. Married woman in Hinduism, whose husband is unable to give her a child, has equal rights. She enters into Niyoga contract, with other men (just like any men, exercising his rights), exercising her sexual rights until she bears a child. Her husband accepts her and treats her kindly upon her return, and allow her to again repeat the cycle if required. Like men, married women also have rights to satisfy themselves legally. Niyoga provides a solution for women

    Like

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