The Markandeya Purana (Study)

by Chandamita Bhattacharya | 2021 | 67,501 words

This page relates ‘Women as Daughter’ of the study on the Markandeya Purana, one of the oldest of the eigtheen Mahapuranas preserving the history, civilisation, culture and traditions of ancient India. The Markandeyapurana commences with the questions raised by Rishi Jaimini (a pupil of Vyasa), who approaches the sage Markandeya with doubts related to the Mahabharata. This study examines various social topics such as the status of women, modes of worship, yoga, etc.

Women as Daughter

In the Mārkaṇḍeyapurāṇa we have found some words denoting daughter such as—

  1. tanayā, (2.30; 21.21)
  2. sutā, (2.32)
  3. kaṇyā [kanyā?], (15.13; 28.29; 47.16) and
  4. duhitṛ (21.66) etc.

In the context of marriage of daughters this Purāṇa states that giving twice a daughter in marriage is a very sinful act.[1] In the Purāṇic times the birth of a daughter was not unexpected. We find the example of desiring a daughter in case of king Aśvatara who requested Śiva to grant the boon of having Madālasā as his daughter.[2] In the context of selecting the person which is to be shunned in ceremonies to the pitṛs it is stated that a father who deflowered his daughter was avoided.[3] For the birth of a daughter this Purāṇa recommends that one should approach his wife on the odd nights[4] and in order to avoid the birth of females, he should avoid just the fifth night of the moon.[5] In this Purāṇa it is exhibited that though birth of a son was generally desired but there is no example of neglecting the birth of a daughter. In some cases we find more than one daughter. For example, king Uttānapāda has two daughters, Dakṣa has twenty and four daughters of which thirteen daughters have taken by Lord Dharma for his wives.[6] A father had excessive self-interest for his daughters as like as towards his sons. It becomes evident from the conversation between two deers. In the context of allotting duties, the daughters were also given importance as ther son. For example Lord Sūrya allotted different duties to his two daughters Yamunā and Tapatī.[7] Thus, it can be said that the daughters are also given importance at the time of Mārkaṇḍeyapurāṇa.

Footnotes and references:


Ibid., 15.13


Ibid., 21.66


Ibid., 28.29


.......... striyo’yugmāsu ratrisu // Ibid., 31.83 a


Ibid., 31.81 a


Ibid., 47.16-22


Ibid., 75.30,32

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