Wishing for “Best Sons”

Passage Paragraph

Here is an excerpt of a mantra from the Rigveda which was probably added to this text around 1000 BCE. This mantra was recited by the priest during the marriage ceremony. Even today it is used in many Hindu marriage rituals:

“I free it from here but not from there. I have firmly established it there so that by the grace of Indra it may have excellent sons and may be blessed with the love of a husband.”

Indra was a major god of valour, war and rain. ‘Here’ and ‘there’ refer to the home of the father and husband.

Q&A of Passage

Q 1. In the context of this mantra, what is the meaning of marriage for the bride and groom?

The bride was expected to give birth to good sons. The groom was expected to give love to his wife.

Q 2. Are these meanings the same or are there differences?

These meanings are similar as well as different. Same from the point of view that good sons could be born only by the mutual love of both husband and wife. Unequal in the sense that here daughters are expected to give birth to virtuous sons.

Q 3. Who was Indra? What was he prayed for?

Indra was the main god of rain, war and bravery. He was prayed to provide the best son.

Q 4. Why did people wish for good sons?

Because of patrilineage, people desired good sons. In this only the sons carried forward the lineage.