There is a consensus that women should not recite the vedas. This disturbed me a lot until I got a convincing reply some years ago through my search. I wrote that finding in a Yahoo group in a short series. I am reproducing them here. There are quite a few issues like this that I have already analyzed and written in Groups. But what induced me to take out this series from my folder is a compilation that I read in a Group. It was a compilation of slokas from Pramana texts that say that women did chant / recite Vedas in olden days. It gave me a peculiar sense of relief as I once struggled to prove that Women are not barred from chanting Vedas. I started that argument with a poser as follows:-
“There is a consensus that women should not recite the
Why should they
- when it was a woman who gifted the world with
‘vedamanaitthukkum vitthu’ (Meaning “the seed of all Vedas” – a description given for Thirppaavai sung by a woman, Andal)
- when it was the same woman who merged with Lord
Ranganatha for all others to see (Andal)
- when it was a woman (a muslim one at that) who
merged with Lord Thirunarayanan at Melkote right in front of
- and it is as woman in Nayaki bhava that seekers of
Lord’s feet get closer to Him.
- Hence the question is not whether women could recite
the Vedas or not.
- It is – ‘Should they need to learn Vedas at all, as
purohit who can correct the others involved in the yajna. BRAHMAA VAA
RITVIJAABHMISHAKTAMAHA – Shatapatha brahmana 184.108.40.206.
brahmanishtaha syaath tham brahmaanam kurveeth".
"Atha kena brahmtvam
kreeyathe iti trayyaa vidyayethi, trayya vidyayeti ha brooyaath"
“…sthree hi brahmaa vibhoovidhaha" .
"ACHHARYASYA STREE AACHAARYAANEE PUM YOGA ITHYEVA AACHAARYA SVAYAM VYAAKHYAATREE"-Siddhaanta koumudi.
( the woman who conducts the veda pravachana is called an Achaarya) .
VEDAMADHYAAPAYED DWIJAHA, SAKALPA SARAHASYAM CHA THAMAACHAARYA
( The one who can conduct the upanayana samskaara and teaches the Vedas is called the Aachaarya).
Siddhaanta Koumudi edited by Mahamahopaadhyaaya pandit Shivadatta sarma says,
(THIS MAKES IT CLEAR THAT WOMEN HAS VEDAADHIKAARA) .
(May I get a good husband…..Because of Vedas, I will become tejasvi and a
powerful spokes person…
May my daughter shine well because of her good
saamaved along with veena when a yajna is being conducted.
chanting the veda mantras. .
Eithareya proves that the women had all rights for Vedas. .
shrouthasootra, Shaankaayana shroutha sootra etc., also confirms the
rights of women for Vedas.
There are several other authorities advising
women to chant veda mantras. .
"tacchakshurdeva sahitam…" is to chanted only by a woman.
Shreemathi, Shivaa, Sulabhaa, Svadhaa, Vapunaa, Dhaarini, Romashaa,
Lopaamudraa, Yamee, Shaashvathee, Idaa, Gaargi, Maithreyi.......
mantradrashtaaras: Ghoshaa, godhaa, vishvavaraa, Apaalaa, Upanishad,
Jahu, Indraani, saramaa, Romashaa, Oorvashi, Lopaamudraa, Yamee,
10-40, 8-91, 10-95, 10-109, 10-154, 10-159, 10-189, 5-28, 8-91 ..etc.,
are from women.
(Three vedas were given to the woman
Seetaa-savitri through Soma).
Taittareeya Brahmana( 1-1-4) as Yajnaprakaashinee meaning Yajna tatva
(This can be continued...)
Udyogaparva 190-18: "Atra siddhaa shivaa naama braahmNee veda paaragaahaa.."
(A brahmin lady by name Shivaa was a scholar of vedas and she got
( Good women should learn Vedas like Droupadi).
Vaidehi shokasantaptaa hutaashanmupaagatam.
( The sad Seeta did homa to Agni)
(Seetha would certainly come to the river to perform sandhya with pure water).
were doing agnihotra etc.,
Vishnupurana (1-10) and (18-19);
Markandeyapurana (52); Brahma vaivarta purana (14-65) etc., may be seen.