Sama, Dana, Bheda, Danda, Maya, Upeksha and Indrajala are the seven techniques used by Kings to rule their Kingdoms. This is a political methodology to approach a given situation. Start with conciliation or gentle persuasion (Sama). If that does not help, offer money/material wealth (Dana). If that still does not change the status quo, use threat or cause dissension (Bheda). Use punishment or violence (Danda) to resolve the situation where the previous three fail. Use of illusions or deceit (Maya), deliberately ignoring people (Upeksha), use of jugglery (Indrajala) are also suggested to resolve any situation.

1) Sama – It is the best means to attract and convert others to one’s side. It consists in winning people with sweet words and looks. People who are friendly by temperament and straightforward may be brought round by Sama. ‘Sama’ can be deployed in four ways.

1. Praising the merits: This can be done by flattering a person on the basis of his personal qualities, occupation, good nature, learning or wealth.

2. Linkage: Emphasizing relationship with the concerned person.

3. Mutual benefits: Explaining how solving the conflict can benefit the two parties.

4. Awards and honors: To award an internal enemy and give him honors to tame his warring tendency.

2) Dana – There are five kinds or varieties of dana (gift) viz. pritidana, dravyadana, svayarhgraha, deya and pratimoksa. If a person gets help from another and acknowledges help by reward that reward is called pritidana. The miser and the poor should be brought round by pritidana. Military captains, heroes and citizens should be won over by this dana. Those who fall at feet should be honoured by dana. The gifts can be of many kinds: giving up demand on what is owed, return something received, donate something, allowing to keep something from the enemy, etc. are some of them.

3) Bheda – Bhedopaya is of three kinds: to destroy or end the friendship between people, to create dissension and to make the parties quarrel with each other. First step is to identify the persons who can be influenced by this technique. He who is falsely criticized, he who has been invited to come and then insulted, the angry one, the unreasonably forsaken one, he who harbors hatred in his mind, he who has not been respected though deserving of respect, etc. are some of the kind of people one can influence to create dissention in the enemy camp. 

4) Danda – Dandopaya is of three kinds, viz, killing, denuding of wealth, and inflicting pain on the body or torture. Danda has two other forms, prakasa (open) and aprakasa (secret). Those who have become objects of hatred to all people should be subjected to ‘prakasa’ danda. People, whose killing the world will detest, should not be killed openly, but only secretly. The King, who possesses the three powers (of wealth, army and people’s support) and is fully conscious of the time and environmental factors should annihilate enemies by the instrument of danda. Evil people should be defeated by danda itself.

5) Maya – Maya means practicing deception by magic or other yogic powers. The powers can be acquired by practice. People who employ this go about at night in various disguises. They disguise themselves as beautiful women or even as animals. They also deceive people by creating illusions of clouds, fire or lightning. For instance, Bhima killed Kicaka by going to him in the guise of a woman.

6) Upeksa – Not to dissuade people who indulge in unjustifiable grief, war etc. is the principal aim of the upaya called upeksa

7) Indrajalopaya (magic) – To scare the enemy is the aim of lndrajala.  By magic one can create illusions of clouds, darkness, rain, fire, etc. in order to instil fear among troops of the enemy etc.

Successful Managers and Sales persons employ these techniques every day in their life. Personal and organizational success hinges on how well you persuade people to willingly follow your directions. Your boss may give you specific powers, but execution and results come from successfully influencing others. Most of us try to persuade by using our best arguments, best data, logical flow charts and rationality to generate the thinking, decisions and actions we seek. But science says that most decisions are emotional.

Every leader or manager depends on getting things done through others. Let us evaluate how we can apply the principle of ‘Saptopaya’ (7 techniques) in our day to day life.

Sama – Winning people with motivational and sweet words, showing the benefit of doing things in a particular way, skill development training, counselling, etc. are all part of Sama technique.

Dana – Incentive schemes are a great motivator for superior performance. Higher increments, promotion, awards and rewards are all techniques employed by organizations to persuade employees achieve higher performance in their organizations.

Bheda – differentiating people based on performance and behavior is very common in organizations. High performers are given more financial rewards, faster promotions, better performance ratings and rankings in during annual performance reviews and included in select clubs etc. to differentiate them from average or below performers.

Danda – warning letters, salary cuts, demotions and finally terminations are some of the method employed by Managers.

These four methods are the most popular ones. Maya is employing deception. Making calls to your offices to check how people are responding, visiting incognito to stores or offices to gauge employee performance and response, etc. are part of Maya. Ignoring people by not wishing them, not inviting them for company meetings, not copying them on important internal communications, etc. are some kind of Upeksa.

An outstanding sales person also employs these techniques every day. Can you think of few instances and respond to this article?


(10) Krimibhojanam (Food for worms) – Depraved Brahmans who take their food without worshipping gods and honoring guests, are thrown into this “Krimibhojana” Naraka which is one lakh yojanas in extent. Worms, insects and serpents sting them and eat them up. Once their bodies are completely eaten up by these creatures, they are provided with new bodies, which are also eaten up in the above manner. They have to continue there in this manner, till the end of their term of punishment.

(11) Taptamurti – Those who plunder or steal other people’s gold, jewels, ornaments or money are cast into the furnaces of this Naraka, which is built of iron and always remains red hot with blazing fire.

(12) Salmali – This Naraka is intended for men and women who have committed adultery. A figure made of iron, heated red-hot is placed there. The victim is urged to embrace it. Yama’s servants flog the victim from behind.

(13) Vajrakantakasali – This Naraka is for the punishment of those who have unnatural intercourse with cows and other animals. Here, the guilty people are made to embrace iron images full of diamond needles.

(14) Vaitarani – This is the Naraka for Kings who have violated all ordinances of Sastras and for adulterers. It is the most terrible place of punishment. Vaitarani is a river filled with human excreta, urine, blood, hair, bones, nails, flesh, fat and all kinds of dirty substances. There are various kinds of ferocious beasts in it. Those who are cast into it are attacked and mauled by these creatures from all sides. The sinners have to spend the term of their punishment, feeding upon the contents of this river.

(15) Puyodakam – This is a well, filled with excreta, urine, blood, phlegm etc. Brahmans and others who have intercourse with women of low caste against customs, ordinances etc. vagabonds who wander about irresponsibly like animals and birds and other such sinners are cast into this Naraka.

(16) Pranarodham – This Naraka is for the punishment of Brahmans who keep dogs, asses and other mean animals and constantly hunt and kill animals for food. Here the servants of Yama gather round the sinners and cut them limb by limb with their arrows and subject them to constant insult.

(17) Visasanam – This Naraka is for the torture of those who perform Yagya by killing cows to display their wealth and splendor. They will have to remain there during the whole term of their punishment under the constant flogging of Yama’s servants.

(18) Lalabhaksam – This is the Naraka for lustful people. The lascivious fellow, who makes his wife swallow semen, is cast into this hell. Lalabhaksam is a sea of semen. The sinner lies in it feeding upon semen alone.

(19) Sarameyasanam – Those guilty of unsocial acts like incendiarism, poisoning food, mass slaughter, ruining the country, etc. are cast into the Naraka called Sarameyasana. There, nothing but the flesh of dogs is available for food. There are 700 dogs in that Naraka and all of them are as ferocious as leopards. They attack the sinners who come there from all sides and tear their flesh from their bodies with their teeth.

(20) Avici – This Naraka is for those guilty of bearing false witness, false swearing or assuming false names. They are hurled into Avici from a mountain which is 100 yojanas in height. The whole region of Avici is always shaken like an ocean with turbulent waves. As soon as the sinners fall into it they are utterly smashed into dust. They are again restored to life and the punishment is repeated.

(21) Ayahpanam – Those who belong to the first three castes viz. Brahmans, Kshatriyas and Vaisyas who indulge in drinking Soma, Sura etc. are bound and thrown into this hell. They are forced to drink melted iron in liquid form.

(22) Ksharakardamam – Braggarts and those who insult people of noble birth are cast into this hell. Here, Yama’s servants keep the sinners upside down and torture them in various ways.

(23) Raksobhaksam – This Naraka is for the punishment of meat-eaters. There are separate compartments in this hell for those who perform human sacrifice, eat human flesh or the flesh of other creatures. All the living beings they had killed before would have arrived here in advance. They would all join together in attacking, biting and mauling these sinners. Their shrieks and complaints would be of no avail there.

(24) Sulaprotam – People who take the life of others who have done no harm to them, by deceiving them or by treachery, with weapons like the trident, are thrown into the “Sulaprotam” hell. Yama’s servants fix each of the sinners of the above class, on the top of a trident. They are forced to spend the whole term of their punishment in that position, suffering intense thirst and hunger, enduring all the tortures inflicted on them by Yama’s servants.

(25) Dandasukam – Sinners who persecute fellow creatures like venomous serpents are cast into this Naraka. There are many wild beasts and many hooded serpents here. They eat alive, the sinners who fall into this hell.

(26) Vatarodham – This hell is for those who persecute the creatures living on mountain-peaks, dense forests, hollow trunks of trees, etc. It resembles mountains, caves, forests etc. After throwing them into this hell the sinners are tortured with fire, snake, poison and weapons, just as they had tortured other creatures, while on earth.

(27) Paryavartanakam – One who denies food to a person, who happens to come at meal- time and abuses him, is thrown into this Naraka. The moment he falls into it, his eyes are put out by being pierced with the beaks of cruel birds like the crow, eagle etc. It is the most painful experience for them.

(28) Sucimukham – Proud and miserly people who refuse to spend money even for the bare necessities of life, find their place in this hell. Those who do not repay the money they have borrowed will also be cast into this hell. Here, their bodies will be continually pricked and pierced with needles.

It is time for all of us to sit back and review our own life and see in which ‘Naraka’ we will be falling after death. Depending upon the crime(s) may be we have to spend time in multiple Narakas before our term is over. Isn’t it frightening?

It is interesting to compare Islamic penal code and Hindu Narakas for its severity of punishment. The only difference is that in Islamic code, one is punished while alive in this world and in Hindu code; it is after death and before your next birth. Well, we can decide which is harsh and severe to bear.

Islamic Penal Code of Iran

1.The penalty for adultery in the following cases shall be death, regardless of the age or marital status of the culprit: (1) Adultery with one’s consanguineous relatives (close blood relatives forbidden to each other by religious law); (2) Adultery with one’s stepmother in which the adulterer’s punishment shall be death; (3) Adultery between a non-Muslim man and a Muslim woman, in which case the adulterer (non-Muslim man) shall receive the death penalty; (4) Forcible rape, in which case the rapist shall receive the death penalty.

2. Adultery in the following cases shall be punishable by stoning: (1) Adultery by a married man who is wedded to a permanent wife with whom he has had intercourse and may have intercourse when he so desires; (2) Adultery of a married woman with an adult man provided the woman is permanently married and has had intercourse with her husband and is able to do so again.

3. Adultery of a married woman with a minor is punishable by flogging.

4. Defloration of a virgin by insertion of a finger that results in incontinence shall entitle the victim to her full blood money plus a sum equal to her potential dowry.

5. Punishment for sodomy is killing; the Sharia judge decides on how to carry out the killing.

6. The punishment for intoxication is 80 lashes for both men and women.

7. Insulting, such as swearing or using profane language should be punished by flogging up to 74 lashes or a fine of 50,000 to 1,000,000 Ryal.

8. Any man and woman who are not married and who commit a crime against public morality, excluding adultery, should be sentenced to flogging (99 lashes). If one of them did not consent to the crime, then only the one who initiated the crime should be punished.

Ancient India represented a distinct tradition of law, and had a historically independent school of legal theory and practice. The Arthashastra, dating from 400 BC and the Manusmriti, from 100 AD, were influential treatises in India, texts that were considered authoritative legal guidance. Manu’s central philosophy was tolerance and pluralism, and was cited across Southeast Asia. With the advent of the British raj, there was a break in tradition, and Hindu and Islamic laws were abolished in favor of British common law. As a result, the present judicial system of the country derives largely from the British system and has few, if any, connections to Indian legal institutions of the pre-British era.

The constitutional and legislative provisions in India not only grants equality and protection to women, but also empower the state to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favor of women. The government of India has enacted several women-specific legislations to uphold the constitutional mandate and to protect women against social discrimination, violence and atrocities and also to prevent social evils like child marriages, dowry, rape, practice of sati etc.

In accordance with the ‘Rastramimamsa’ (political philosophy) of Ancient India, crimes were divided into two types. They were called Upapatakas (minor crimes) and Patakas (major crimes).

Sins (papas) – There are ten papas (sins). (1) Murder (2) Theft (3) Adultery (4) Calumny (5) Harshness (6) Deceit (7) Nonsensical utterances (8) Inflicting pain on others (9) Desire for another’s property (10) Atheism.

UPAPATAKA (UPAPAPA) (Minor sins). – Cow-slaughter; sacrificing by one who is unworthy to perform it; seducing another man’s wife; forsaking one’s father, mother and teacher; forsaking self-study, agni (fire) and son; becoming Parivetta (one who gets married before one’s elder brother is married), Younger brother finishing education before the elder; giving an unmarried girl to Parivitti or Parivetta; performing sacrifice by a parivitti or a parivetta; slandering an unmarried girl; Living on the interest of money that is lent; violating one’s vow; selling pond, garden, wife or son; becoming an outcaste; forsaking relatives; Teaching the Vedas after receiving remuneration; selling things which should not be sold, destroying medicinal herbs; living by women; to impede rites; cut down fresh trees (not dried) for fire-wood; kidnapping women; mingling with slanderers of women; selfish activities; eating forbidden rice; not keeping Sacrificial fire ; theft; not repaying loan ; learning forbidden sciences; doing things which are bad and will cause grief to others ; stealing of base metals, grains and cows; contact with drunken women; killing women, etc.

The five greatest Sins are Brahma hatya (killing a Brahmana), Suraa paana (indulging in intoxicants), Asteya (Stealing Gold), Guru Patni Gamana and last one is who commend the earlier sins.

After death, messengers of Yama called Yamadutas bring all beings to the court of Yama, where he weighs the virtues and the vices of the being and passes a judgment, sending the virtuous to Swarga (heaven) and the sinners to one of the hells. The stay in Swarga or Naraka is generally described as temporary. After the quantum of punishment is over, the souls are reborn as lower or higher beings as per their merits.

Naraka (Hell). There is a world called Pitrloka in the middle of the three worlds, on their southern side below the earth and above the Atala loka. Yama is the ruler of pitrloka. Since he is scrupulous in imparting justice, Yama is also called Yamadharma. He administers justice with an even hand to all living beings brought there by his agents, according to their virtues and vices during their earthly lives. He has power to assess the virtues and vices of people and to assign suitable punishments to them, but not to alter the laws or methods of punishment. Sinners are sent to the different Narakas by Yamadharma according to the nature and seriousness of their sins. The Puranas refer to twenty-eight Narakas in all. They are:

(1) Tamisram – Those who rob others of their wealth, wives, children etc., are bound with ropes by Yama’s servants and cast into the Naraka known as Tamisram. There, they are given sound beating until they faint. After they recover their senses, the beating is repeated and those who try to escape are bound hand and foot and pushed again into this hell. This is repeated as long as Fate has ordained.

(2) Andhatamasram – This hell is intended for the wife who takes food after deceiving the husband or the husband who takes food after deceiving his wife. The punishment there is the same as that of Tamisram except the beating. But the excruciating pain suffered by the victims on being tied fast with Yama’s rope by his servants, makes them fall down senseless.

(3) Rauravam – This is the hell into which those who have persecuted other living beings are cast. Those who seize and enjoy another man’s property or resources, also come under ‘Persecution’. When such people are thrown into this hell, those whom they had persecuted or cheated while on earth, assume the shape of “ruru” and torment them severely. “Ruru” is a kind of dreadful serpent. This hell is known as “Rauravam” because of the abundance of rurus there.

(4) Maharauravam – Here also there are ruru serpents. Only they are of a fiercer type. Those who deny the legitimate heirs, their inheritance and possess and enjoy others’ property are squeezed to death by these terrible serpents coiling round them.

(5) Kumbhipakam – This is the hell for the punishment of those who kill and eat birds and animals. Here, oil is kept boiled in huge vessels. Yama’s servants plunge sinners into this oil. The period of their torture extends to as many years as there were hairs on the bodies of the birds or animals which they killed and ate.

(6) Kalasutram (Yamasutra) – This hell is terribly hot. It is here that those who do not respect their father, mother, elders, etc. are cast. They rush about in the unbearable heat of this hell and drop down exhausted, from time to time.

(7) Asi(ta) patram – This is the hell in which those sinners who abandon svadharma (one’s own duty) and accept Paradharma (others’ duty) are flogged by Yama’s servants with whips made of asipatra (sharp-edged sword-shaped leaves). When they run about under the flogging they trip over stones and thorns and fall on their faces. Then they are stabbed with knives made of asipatra. They drop down unconscious and when they recover their senses, the same process is repeated.

(8) Sukaramukham – Kings who neglect their duties and oppress their subjects by misrule, are punished in this hell. They are crushed to a pulp by beating until they fall down unconscious and when they recover, they are again subjected to the same treatment.

(9) Andhakupam – This is the hell for punishing those who oppress Brahmans, gods and the poor. In this Kupa (well) there are wild beasts like tiger, bear etc. carnivorous birds like eagle, kite etc. venomous creatures like snakes and scorpions and insects like bugs, mosquitoes, etc. The sinners have to endure the constant attacks of these creatures, until the expiry of the period of their punishment.

Age of Earth and Brahma

The Hindu cosmology and timeline is the closest to modern scientific timelines and even more which might indicate that the Big Bang is not the beginning of everything but just the start of the present cycle preceded by an infinite number of universes and to be followed by another infinite number of universes. It also includes an infinite number of universes at one given time. Based on the evidence from radiometric age dating of meteorite material age of the Earth is 4.54 ± 0.05 billion years (4.54 × 109 years ± 1%). This is also consistent with the ages of the oldest-known terrestrial and lunar samples.

The puranic view asserts that the universe is created, destroyed, and re-created in an eternally repetitive series of cycles. In Hindu cosmology, a universe endures for about 4,320,000,000 years (one day of Brahma, the creator or kalpa) and is then destroyed by fire or water elements. At this point, Brahma rests for one night, just as long as the day. This process, named pralaya  repeats for 100 Brahma years (311 Trillion, 40 Billion Human Years) that represents Brahma’s lifespan. Brahma is regarded as a manifestation of Brahman as the creator.

In current occurrence of Universe, we are believed to be in the 51st year of the present Brahma and so about 156 trillion years have elapsed since He was born as Brahma. After Brahma’s “death”, it is necessary that another 100 Brahma years (311 Trillion, 40 Billion Years) pass until a new Brahma is born and the whole creation begins anew. This process is repeated again and again, forever.

The present period is the Kali Yuga or the last era in one of the 71 Chaturyugas (set of four Yugas/eras) in the life one of the fourteen Manus. The current Manu is said to be the seventh Manu and his name is Vaivasvat. According to Aryabhata, the Kali Yuga began in 3102 BC, at the end of the Dvapara Yuga that was marked by the disappearance of Krishna avatar.

Brahma’s Life span

1 human year         = 1 divine Ahoratra (Day and Night)

360 divine Ahoratra = I divine year.

4800 Divyavarsas = 1 Satya yuga

3600 Divyavarsas = 1 Tretayuga

2400 Divyavarsas = 1 Dvaparayuga

1200 Divyavarsas = 1 Kaliyuga

12000 Divyavarsas = 1 Caturyuga

71 Caturyugas   = 1 Manvantara

14 Manvantaras = 1 Pralaya/Kalpa

1 Pralaya (Kalpa) = Brahma’s one day.

This is equal to 4.29 billion years, which is the closest to the scientific calculation of the life of Earth and solar system.

2 Kalpas  = One day (and night) for Brahma. (Ahoratra)

360 days of Brahma 1 Brahma Varsa

100 Brahma Varsas One Brahma’s life-span.

This life-span of one Brahma is therefore 30917376000000 years of human beings.

Average Life span of various species is as given below. As you can see, in your life time, there would be many generations of flies and rats that would have come and gone.






1 day


20 yr


3 weeks


21 yr


4 weeks


25 yr


 2 yrs


30 yr


3 yr


30 yr


5 yr


50 yr


12 yr


68 yr


16 yr


70 yr

A small story to illustrate the above.

Before the period of Krishna, the island Dwaraka was known as Kusasthall. It was ruled over by a famous King named Revata. This king had hundred sons and a daughter named Revati. When the time for marriage of his daughter came the King was anxious to find a fitting husband for her and went to Brahmaloka to take the advice of Brahma. Revati also accompanied him. There the eternal Rishis, Siddhas, Gandharvas, Pannagas and Charanas were singing hymns to Brahma in his praise. Standing with folded hands he waited a while to find an opportunity to talk to Brahma but was so very pleased with the music that he could not desist from hearing it till the end. When the music finished, the King bowed down to Brahma and showed him his daughter and informed Him of his intention.” O King! The princes that you thought would become the bridegroom for your daughter, all died; their sons and grandsons and their friends even have all passed away. The twenty-seventh Manvantara of the Dwapara Yuga is now going on; so none of the princes of your family now exist. Now Ugrasena, the King of Mathura, is reigning in that place. He belongs to the illustrious lunar family of Yayati. His son, the powerful Kansa, threw his own father to the prison. Baladeva, the elder brother of Krishna, carrier of the plough, is a great warrior and the part incarnation of Ananta Deva. He is the fit bridegroom of your daughter. So give your daughter in marriage, without any delay, according to the rules of the marriage ceremony to him.

Finally a joke. Once a devotee asked Brahma – I understand that your one day is equal to 4.3 billion human years, which means your one rupee would be 4.3 billion of humans, isn’t it? Yes, said Brahma. Sir, please give me a rupee, said the devotee. Brahma “ No problem, please wait for a day.

Marriages, are they made in heaven? What scriptures say about husband wife relationship.

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person”. Mignon McLaughlin

Arranged marriages were normal in Indian society for a very long time and it is still practiced by many Indian families irrespective of their religion or cast. Parents take an important role for the marriage and they choose prospective bride or groom for their son or daughter to marry. Marriage is not an affair between two individuals but that of two families including their relatives and friends. Religious practices, life style and economic compatibility also play a major part in successful marriages that lasts a life time. But love marriages are slowly changing that thought process in India. Once the couple enters into the bond of marriage, the relationship is considered sacrosanct and perpetual—till death does them apart.

The fast-changing social and family environment has thrown up new challenges, particularly to the young people.  Assertion of freedom and the need for individual space, characterized by ambition and the fast pace of life; have created new pressures on marriage. Job opportunities for women have multiplied over the recent past, giving them economic independence. For many career-oriented girls, their career, success and money are more important and hence get more priority over family. This motivates them to choose out of a bad marriage, particularly when they have no kids. As many of the female spouses today are well educated and employed on good jobs, they have become quite conscious of their rights. They also expect cooperation and adjustment from their husbands. While women have tended to become assertive, many of the males, on their part, have not learnt to adapt to the new situation. Because of the greater societal acceptance of divorcees the sanctity of marriage is taking a beating in today’s society. If the wife is working, gender roles change. Conflicts arising from sharing the work load at home add to the stress faced at work. Tensions often arise if the husband imagines that the woman’s career is temporary or the woman imagines that her husband will lend a hand at home. All these have resulted in the lack of harmony among married couples. The decline in harmony can be associated with values that emphasize individualistic, materialistic and self-oriented goals over family well-being.

Our society is in transition, in a state of flux. While old values are getting uprooted, the new value system has not got sufficiently entrenched. The frequent ego clashes may be the consequence of this fluid situation.

In Mahabharata there are many references about marriages and husband wife relationship. If we can follow those instructions, even partially, one can enjoy a long and blissful married life. Some of the excerpts are given below.

The wife is a man’s better half and first of all friends. The wife is the root of religion, desire and wealth. Only those who have wife can perform religious rites and can attain salvation. Only those with wife can be cheerful and lead a happy domestic life. They act as mothers in sickness and woe. Men scorched by mental grief, or suffering under bodily pain, feel as much refreshed in the companionship of their wives as a perspiring person in a cool bath. He who has a wife is trusted by all. No man, even in anger, should ever do anything that is disagreeable to his wife, seeing that happiness, joy, and virtue, everything depends on the wife.

A house without the wife is as desolate as the wilderness. Even in the deep woods to a traveler a wife is his refreshment and solace. Even the foot of a tree is one’s home if one lives there with one’s spouse as a companion. Without one’s spouse, a very palace is truly a desolate wilderness. When one sets out for a strange land one’s wife is one’s trusted companion. It is said that the wife is the richest possession of her husband. A wife, therefore, is one’s most valuable possession. There is no friend like the wife or refuge better than her. One’s house is where his wife is.

Once Satyabhama, wife of Sri Krishna asked Panchali as to how she is able to make such powerful husbands as Pandavas obedient to her. Is she using any black magic or tricks? To which Panchali answered thus.

Keeping aside vanity, and controlling desire and anger, I always serve them with devotion. Restraining jealousy, with deep devotion of heart, without a sense of degradation at the services I perform, I wait upon my husbands. Ever fearing to utter what is evil or false, or to look or sit or walk with impropriety, or cast glances indicative of the feelings of the heart, do I serve my husbands. I never bath or eat or sleep till he that is my husband has bathed or eaten or slept,–till, in fact, our attendants have bathed, eaten, or slept. Whether returning from the field, the forest, or the town, hastily rising up I always salute my husband with water and a seat. I always keep the house and all household articles and the food that is to be taken well-ordered and clean. Carefully do I keep the rice, and serve the food at the proper time. I never indulge in angry and fretful speech, and never imitate women that are wicked. Keeping idleness at distance I always do what is agreeable. I never laugh except at a jest, and never stay for any length of time at the house-gate. I always refrain from laughing loudly and indulging in high passion, and from everything that may give offence. I always am engaged in waiting upon my lords. A separation from my lords is never agreeable to me. Whatever my husband does not drink, eats or enjoys I also renounce. Those duties that my mother-in-law had told me of in respect of relatives, as also the duties of alms-giving, of offering worship to the gods, of oblations to the diseased, of boiling food in pots on auspicious days for offer to ancestors and guests of reverence and service to those that deserve our regards, and all else that is known to me, I always discharge day and night, without idleness of any kind. The husband is the wife’s god, and he is her refuge. Indeed, there is no other refuge for her. How can, then, the wife do the least injury to her lord? I never, in sleeping or eating or adorning any person, act against the wishes of my husband, and always guided by my husbands, I never speak ill of my mother-in-law. My husbands have become obedient to me in consequence of my diligence, my alacrity, and the humility with which I serve superiors.

She is a true wife whose heart is devoted to her husband and is skillful in household affairs. Sweet-speeched wives are friends on occasions of joy. A wife should speak only what is agreeable to her husband. An ideal wife never eats before her husband eat, and never bath before her husband, never sits before her husband sit down, and never lies before he lies down. She rejoices if he rejoices, and becomes sad when he is sad. When the husband is away she becomes cheerless, and when he is angry she ceases not to speak sweetly.

Having read what is said in scriptures, many may think that these are not practical in today’s society. At the same time I am sure the essence of what is said can certainly be implemented. My suggestions are as follows.

Let the relationship between husband and wife be based on mutual respect and love.  Loyalty to each other builds trust which is essential in any relationship. Being the smallest possible team, they should have common goals and objectives. Let the relationship be not based on one-upmanship or servitude as both should share the duties, responsibilities and rights equally. None should surrender their individual personality and creativity at the altar of marriage but support each other to grow and excel in their profession or chosen field. There are certain functions only the women can do such as child bearing and breast feeding and it puts high degree of emotional and physical stress on her. Nothing in this world can replace the joy one gets from their new born baby. Therefore the husband should be more than willing to compensate by taking on additional responsibilities to make the family successful and happy. It calls for great understanding and at times some adjustments and sacrifice to make a married life long, happy and enjoyable.

Let me end this with a quote from the great philosopher, Kahlil Gibran –

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.  Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.