Rsikas of The Rgveda

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Rsikas of The Rgveda
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The volume presents a study of the famous women Rsikas mentioned in the Vedic literature.

The book describes the great respect offered to seers in the Vedic literature and the equal importance given to Rsikas when compared to Rsis. Discussing how even women of the Vedic period were epitomes of spiritual attainment, the book admiringly points out that the gentler discrimination seen in the Hindu traditional was a later phenomenon (such as that women are not adhikarts for the study of the Vedics.). It states that there are twenty- seven women mantradrstarah in the Rgveda. It provides a list of these women's Rsikas and deals with the mantras envisioned by them. The Rsikas are mentioned in the study on the basis of those who praised the deities, those who conversed with the seers and deities, and those who praised the self. The Rsikas mentioned in the Yajurveda, Samaveda, and Atharvaveda are also mentioned. Rsikas whose individual contributions are taken up in detail include Vagambhrni, Surya-Savitri, Sraddha, Daksina, Aditi, Ratri, and Urvasi, among others.

The volume is bound to be a handy reference book for all those interested in Indology, particularly students and scholars of Vedic and gender studies.


About the Author

Swamini Atmaprajnanananda Saraswati, a first class science graduate, joined as a probationary officer in various managerial capacities in India until 1992. After her MBA in Finance and Marketing from XIMB (1991), she joined a multinational bank in Muscat. A chance to meet with Swami Dayananda Saraswati in Muscat in 1996 brought about a life transformation. She resigned and studied Vedanta and Panini under Swamiji, in his graduals at Rishikesh, Coimbatore, and Saylorsburg, before taking Sannyasa in 2008. In the meantime, she did her Masters (2005) and Ph.D. (2012) in Sanskrit. Her other areas of interest of interest are Vedic Chanting, Temple Architecture, and Buddhism.

A Vedantin, a committed scholar and an enthusiast of Indian couture, the Swamini set up her Arsha Vidya Vikas Kendra in 2004. Besides organizing national conferences on Vedas, Vedanta, and Indian Culture, she is actively involved in various community services in the field of primary health and education.



Like Ulysses of James Joyce, Rsias of the Rgveda was a single page in my book Nomenclature of the Vedas. It became fifty –pages by September 2010 and then blossomed into 151 pages now.

I want this book to reach all the women- achievers in diverse fields of activity-spiritual-cum-religious leaders, research scholars, educationists, physicians, lawyers, judges, administrations, singers, painters, literary figures, filmmakers, sports presume, astronauts, scientists, media personalities and all those young women who are dreaming big. Some contend that many of the listed risks are concepts without a face or form. Fine, even if there is just one Kalpana Chawla or Sunita Williams among the multitude of women, the statement is made.

Since the free translation is provided, I come under the blue sky and am vulnerable. Readers are not to blame me for the contents of the humus.

It only shows that a great scholar may not sometimes be so empathetic. In Reiki’s language, it is explained, “The people ajna chakra has opened up, but anahata chakra (hart-chakra) has not opened up”. This is seconded by the fact that his elder brother, Madhavacarya justified the practice of satl.

The actual import of upanayana is to lead the child to the teacher for Vedic studies. In the course of time, this essential practice became a mere ritual thread ceremony. Upanayanam was no longer being held for females because, in the course of time, child marriage became the convention so that the girl child’s fertility period is not wasted. The cognitive deprivation gradually brought down the social status of the woman at par with the sudras. It is rather amazing that the bards at the time of compilation of the Rgveda did not delete Yama-Yami-Samvada, much less the other Vedic hymns Partially, Collectively, or alternatively seen or envisioned by the females.

My contention is: that only the Veda, which is given the status of apauruseya, has to state that it is not available or should be out of reach to state that it is not available or should be out of reach to the females, and not a historical pauruseya text, i.e. any Dharnasarea much less a Purina.

It Is of great significance to note that Yajnavalhya did not refuse to answer Gag’ spirited questions and that in his huge gurukulam, where all the four Vedic were being taught by him, he found Mastery to be a uttama adhockery to impart Brahma-vidya.

Enough of discussion on the sympathetic and broadminded acaryas of the past. In our own tradition of Arsa-Vidya, my spiritual Guru Swami Dayanada Saraswati (b.1930) has made the Vedic/Vedantic learning freely available to admirals that include many females. I boasted with a former diploma, a newcomer to our gurukulam.”Swami Chinmayandaji brought about a revolution in the 1950s by making the Vedic/Vedantic teaching available to us. It is because of him that today we women are being able to chart Rural and ort,” she shot back, “What are you talking talking! It was long before that, 150 Years ago Swami Daynanda Saraswati (Ce 1824-83), founder of the Vedic teachings, and we women were encouraged to study the Vedas and perform Vedic havens every.” Her response enlightened and humbled me.

In our Arsa-Vidya tradition, we now have more than 80 female sannyasinis (Hindu nuns) against a total of 212 Sannyasis. One of my Acaryas, Swamini Brahmaprakahanada Saraswati has taught successfully two 3-year Residential Courses on Vedanta, Panini, to around twenty students in our Nagpur Gurukulam. The Acaryas who taught us Vedic chanting were two senior Sannyasinis. They lead the Vedic chants daily in the Sri Medha Daksinamurti Temple at AVG, Animate, which is a traditional temple that observes all the rules of the Agama Sastra.

Responding to many hidden and disguised camouflaged questions at various sausages, my Guru, Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati, who himself is a living rsi and a great authority on interpretation of the Vedas, has clarified thus:

I suggest two books to be read by all those readers who wish to know how the women for centuries together were deprived of the Vedic learning, or for that matter, any other kind of education.




  Preface VII
  Acknowledgment XIII
  Abbreviations XIV
  Notes on Transliteration XV
  Women Rsis Rsikas) in the Rgveda 1
  Part I: Who Praised the Deities  
1 Ghosa Kaksivati 6
2 Gouda 16
3 Visvavara Ary 19
4 Apala Atreyi 22
5 Juhu-Brahmajaya 25
6 Agastya-vasa 28
7 Aditi- Daksayani 32
  Part II: Who Conversed With the Seers and Deities  
8 Indrani 40
9 Indramatarah 49
10 Sarama Devasuni 51
11 Romasa 55
12 Urvasi 58
13 Lopamudra 64
14 Nadyah-The Rivers 67
15 Yami Vaivasvati 72
16 Sasvati Angirasi 78
  Part III: Who Praised the Self  
17 Sarparajni 88
18 Vagambhrni 90
19 Sraddha Kamayani 93
20 Daksina Prajapatya 95
21 Ratri-Bharadvaji 99
22 Surya-Savitri 102
  Part IV :Other Rsikas not Listed in Brhaddevata  
23 Saci Paulomi 118
24 Sikhandini Kasyapi 121
25 Intranasal- Vasukrapatni 123
A Rsikas of the Yajurveda 127
B Rsikas of the Samaveda 129
C Rsikas of the Atharvaveda 130
D Ggargi Vacaknabi 131
E Maitreyi 132
  Conclusion 133
  Glossary 137
  Bibliography 147
  Index 149


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