• This forum contains old posts that have been closed. New threads and replies may not be made here. Please navigate to the relevant forum to create a new thread or post a reply.
  • Welcome to Tamil Brahmins forums.

    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our Free Brahmin Community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

    If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Plight of widows

Not open for further replies.
It is a fact that even now in our community a widow is treated with scant respect. Till yesterday when her husband was alive, she is treated with all respect and wants her to be in the front. I have seen sons refusing to see their mothers first on an auspicious day just because she is a widow! Is this right? Don't they deserve better treatment.
In my family I have a Periamma ( my mother's elder sister) who is completing 100 years this year..still alive and active..She became a widow at the age of 9 (nine) years... her marriage lasting only for 6 months. But she is the first person, whose blessings are taken on any auspicious day..She is in the front of all the good functions like marriage etc. in our house...
I don't know how many widows are lamenting in the kitchens of so many of our homes, their head tonsured...waiting for the D day to come..to join their husbands.

Are these right practices ....I don't know whether such practices of head tonsuring do still exist in modern days...I feel that they are all wrong practices...Women should be allowed to live as they have been..She already suffers the loss of her husband....Is it right to traumatise her further...I leave for the forum to discuss..
Dear Sri hariharan1965 Ji,

I commented elsewhere on a different thread about our attitude about homosexuality. Our treatment of widows is no different.

If at all I hate something about my culture, it is the way we generally explain away our inhumanity towards others. This really bugs me about us. We are ready to judge others without an iota of humanity in our souls. All this explained away as something handed down to us by the high and mighty Rishis!

Have not come across widows being treated negatively anywhere so far, though there are women i have come across who lost their husbands. Dunno if rishis have said anything abt women having to be treated as a lower creature compared to a man, and an even lower creaure if she lost her husband. Things said by rishis notwithstanding, if practices such as treating a woman badly exists just bcoz she lost her husband, then obviously it says a lot abt the ppl themselves who wish to treat a woman with scant respect.
Dear Srimathi HH Ji,

My reference to the 'high & mighty' rishis was tongue in cheek. Our real rrishis were the putveyors of Sathyam.

And in the interim, some of our Shastras were manipulated by some who called themselves 'rishis' and infused some of our smritis with inhumanity.

I think we should permit widow remarriages. When men folk can re-marry, why should we discriminate ladies.
Last edited:
I think that many widows are remarrying and I have not seen any widow being ill-treated in recent times. With education and financial security, whether remarried or not widows are becoming assertive and is a progress. But the only issue could be that in the name of humanity and progress, all kinds of non-sense should not creep into the community. Because, even the so called scientists and youngsters could also be superstitious and dogmatic.
gnsri, venkat,

it is indeed so refreshing to see the changing attitudes towards our widows. the treatment of our widows alone, should force us to stop and think, before we give a blanket chit of approval to our mores, even as recent as 50 years ago.

female education has been the key. employment follows education. and that too good employment. and with it comes money.

i tell you, that money has, can and will, turn graves.

i think, barring an extreme few, nowadays, our younger widows, do have the option of remarrying.

i have a young widowed cousin, who due to an constricted marriage, swears that she will never be under the thumb of any man. she revels in her freedom, and ably supported by her side of the family.

now comes the sticky part. in the event of remarriage, what about all those gothrams adoption. will she get the second husband's gothram?
Last edited:
Widow remarraige is referrd to in some of the Grihya Sutras.They do not approve of such acts.They say the couple are fallen and their children willnot be Bramhins but belong to the lowest Varna.At the samt time they say she will take the gotra of the husband etc.A slight distinction is also made. Awoman widowed without her marraiage being consumated, a widow without childred and a widow who does not fall in the above two categories.So wdow marraige was known but not approved.
When I hear of cruel or inhumane treatment of gays or women, or children, or dalits, this question enters my mind: Do you believe in karma or not? If you are being cruel, then obviously you don't believe in one of the basic tenets of the religion: karma. This in turn, implies that you're not a Hindu. At least not a good one.

But in practicality each case is different. I think for remarrying, age, existing family support, all these things, would have a lot to do with it.

Aum namasivaya
Attitude towards widows, divorcees are changing fast. But i still find people in previous generation who wouldnt give vethala pakku to widows, not include them in any functions etc. That should change too (in my opinion).
If a boy or girl looses their spouse at an early age, particularly before they a child, there is no other option except finding a new partner in life. If the same thing happens after they get a child, then the issue becomes more complicated. For the sake of the child, some people don't want to remarry.

Few decades back marriages were happening at very early age say 8 to 10. I have seen widow ladies in my village who have not seen the family life. People use to make use of their services for all functions but when it come to public honouring, they will be isolated and ignored.

But things have changed now. Our girls are having better education. They are also earning equally well. Even for the regular first marriage, some of the girls are not listening to her own parents. Divorces and remarriages are happening regularly among all communities including our community. It is right time we allow widow remarriage also by changing our customs. Like Rajaram Mohanroy, some great reformer has to advocate widow remarriage so that it is accepted as a regular custom.

எண்ணாயிரம் ஆண்டு யோகம் இருப்பினும் கண்ணார் அமுதனை கண்டறிவாரில்லை உள் நாடி ஒளி பெற உள்ளே நோக்கினார் கண்ணாடி போல கலந்து நின்றானே
Shree RV,

When one of my relatives son married a widow,i was so respectful to the bridegroom sir.Truly amazing youngsters in our community,this is already happening in brahmin community without any pomp or show.Thank you!.

Not open for further replies.

Latest ads