Daughter - A Boon or A Bane?

Born from bhoomi {earth} Sita was also known as bhoomija, considered as a blessing by her father Seerdhwaja Janak, the King of Mithila she was also fondly called Janaki {daughter of Janak} by her father and loved ones and Maithali {the one from the land of Mithila}.

King Janak and his wife queen Sunaina considered their Sita as a blessing, they believed it was her birth that put an end to the 12 year long drought that Mithila was facing, the Kingdom of Mithila was facing a 12 year long drought when a learned sage told Janak that he should get a golden plough made and plough the fields of Mithila and when he does so Lord Indra the god of rain will get impressed and Mithila will get rains ,it was then when Janak went forward to plough the field he found Sita inside earth and her birth led to the rains Mithila had desired for years.

Janak and Sunaina loved their Sita to no extent they believed it was her sacred birth that led to the end of the drought of Mithila and they also believed it was because of Sita that they got the opportunity to become parents of their biological daughter Urmila and King Janak’s younger brother Khushwdhaja and his wife Chandrabhaga also believed that it was because of Sita they too got an opportunity to become parents of their daughters Mandvi and Shrutkeerti.

King Janak never differentiated between his own daughters Sita and Urmila & his brothers daughters Mandavi and Shrutkeerti, he considered all 4 of them as his own daughters and when asked what will happen to his clan since he has no son to carry forward his lineage, he would always smile and say “my clan will be known by my daughters names, i don’t need a son to carry forward my lineage”.

Everybody knows that Sita was an incarnation of goddess Lakshmi the consort of god vishnu, but she was born as a normal human being unaware of the fact that she was goddess Lakshmi and the upbringing that she got made Sita the most prominient female character of our Hindu mythology . She was born to King Janak and his wife Sunaina who were great human beings themselves, which man about 10000 years ago would have dared to say he doesn't need a son, forget that a King for whom The biggest challenge is to make sure that his lineage continues even after his death and that’s the reason why all Kings wanted a son and even performed yajnas {worship to gods for attaining what they desired}.

We had a man, like King Janak who did not care about this norm and loved his daughters to no extent and considered them equal to a son, the same epic Ramayana also has an example of a man who gave up his daughter for the want of a son , King Dasratha who had three wives Kaushalaya , Kekayi and Sumitra.

He only had a daughter Shanta , being a King of Ayodhya the strongest and the most prosperous Kingdom of Aryavarta , Dasrath could not accept the fact that he had no son to carry forward his lineage ,belonging to the Raghu clan and having ancestors like King Harishchandra {satyavadi harishchandra}, King Bhagirath{ the King who was successful in requesting goddess Ganga to come to earth and bless the people on earth with her pure and holy water} and others like them , Dasrath believed he would be a failure for his clan and thus performed a “putra kamesthi yajna” by giving the hand of his only daughter to a sage and in a way sacrificing her for the want of a son.

From this yajna a pot of “kheer” {an Indian sweet made of rice , milk and sugar} was received which King Dasrath gave to his wife kaushalaya who shared it with kekayi and both of them gave half of their kheer to sumitra the youngest wife of King Dasrath and that’s how ram and his brothers were born,

Ram --Kaushalaya and Dasrath

Bharat--Kekayi and Dasrath

Laxman--Sumitra and Dasrath

Shatrugan-- Sumitra and Dasrath.

Thus we can see in the same epic that at one place there is a father who did not give up on his daughter and raised her with utmost affection and love; King Janak and on the other hand we have another King whose love for his clan and his lineage led to sacrificing his beloved daughter in order to get sons who could carry forward his lineage, King Dasrath.

Even in the Mahabharata we can see that King Drupad who was the King of Panchaal was blinded by his desire to defeat Dronacharya his best friend turned bitter foe that he too performed a yajna in order to get a son but he could only get a son if he accepted a daughter he did so and that’s how Draupadi was born , she was called Yajnaseni{born from the sacrificial fire}, Panchaali { one from the Kingdom of Panchaal}, Draupadi{daughter of Drupad} and Krishnaa {as she was dark skinned and also because she was the best friend of Lord Krishna}.

But Drupad never regarded her as a blessing he even asked for her a life where she has to face a lot of troubles, injustice, insults and finally an unhappy end.

So much was his hatred for the fact that he would have two daughters now, Shikhandini his oldest child and Draupadi his youngest that he indirectly cursed Draupadi for a terrible life.

Thus the 2 most important epics of our mythology teach us that from time to time even the most prominent and important female characters of our mythology have been regarded either as a boon or a bane, its is the ideologies that make a perception for any person, at one place we have Janak who considered his daughter Sita as the biggest blessing of his life and on the other hand we have drupad who considered his daughter draupadi as the biggest bane of his life.

Thus, it all comes down to the thinking of mankind whether they regard daughter as a boon or a bane.

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