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GHOSHA (VEDIC PERIOD)


Ghosha was one of the 27 women known as brahmavadinis, though some of these ‘women’ seem to have been abstractions or fictions. Ghosha is one who appears to have been human, and the author of two hymns in the Rig Veda. Her grandfather Dirghatamas and her father Kakshivat both composed several hymns in praise of the Ashwins. Two entire hymns of the Tenth book, each containing 14 verses, are attributed to her. Her first hymn praises the Ashwins, the heavenly twins who are also physicians; this accords well with the legend that she suffered from some disfiguring disease, perhaps leprosy, and remained unmarried as a consequence in her father’s house. The second, a more personal one, expresses Ghosha’s intimate feelings and desires. She implored the Ashwins,

This praise song have we made for you, O Ashwins,
Have fashioned it as the Bhrigus build a weapon
Have decked it as the bride is for the bridegroom,
Presenting it to you as our own offerings.

It is said that, invoked by her two hymns, the Ashwins worshipped by her forefathers cured her of the disease and made her worthy of wedded happiness. The second hymn is explicit about her desires and deep feeling for married life:
The woman has been born: let him, desirous of a maiden, approach her;
For him let the spreading creepers grow along with rain;
Let the stream flow for him as if down an incline;
For him who is not to be conquered, let there be the rights of a husband.
 
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