I am currently reading Ramesh Menon's Mahabharat. The Mahabharat is one of my all time favourites and Ramesh Menon doesn't disappoint.
It makes me smile to think how many extra marital relationships are there in it...starting with a Satyavati and Sage Parashara whose brief moments together result in Vyasa the great poet sage.
Vichitraveerya's death leaving Hastinapur heirless and her stepson Bheeshma's refusal to sire any children motivates Satyavati to brings in Vyasa to father sons for Ambika and Ambalika...
A petrified Ambika who refused to open her eyes in bed with Vyasa, despite not disliking the experience, led to Dhritharashtra being born blind...
An Ambalika who learnt a lesson from Amba's experience kept eyes wide open, but still paled away in fear.... which led to albino skinned Pandu.
Satyavati pleads with her son for one last chance,and Vyasa agrees....that night is a perfect night and results in a brilliant son- Vidur.. but unfortunately, Hastinapur is destined to have a flawed King- Ambika had sent in her maid in her place that fateful night.
Pandu's wife Kunti's pre-marital experiments with Durvasa's boon leave her with the Sun God's progeny- Karna.
Later, when due to a curse Pandu is unable to indulge in the act of procreation, Kunti uses the same boon to indulge in brief relationships with gods whom Pandu chooses(!!!) and out pop Yudhishtir, Bheem and Arjun, sons of Yama, Vayu and Indra respectively.
Kunti invokes the mantra for Madri who gets her children Nakul and Sahadev sired by the Ashvini twins.
In more innocent days, I used to think that being referred to as sons of Gods meant that the Pandavas were born as a result of Kunti and Madri praying to the respective gods for children who were subsequently blessed with godly qualities. Even in Rahi Masoom Raza's TV series on the Mahabharat, obviously the physicalities of such conceptions were not dwelt on.
Am glad that Ramesh Menon's women in the Mahabharat are free to desire and enjoy their men. Be it their husbands or Rishis or Gods. Be it through compulsions or innocent experimentation...
When exactly, I wonder, did sex become taboo in the land of the Kamasutra?
4 days ago