NIYOG IS VEDIC NOT NOCTURNAL
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
PRAJANAN or Procreation is an inborn instinct of a living being. Humans, animals, fish, fowl and Vanaspati or Vegetation leave behind numerous living beings of their kind before they depart for good.
Right at the beginning of the Creation, Ishwar had given the Vedas to the Rishis for the guidance of human beings to lead a life of righteousness. Along with the Gyan of Life and desire to have children was the knowledge of providing stability of social order. Human beings stabilized process of procreation by formalizing the social institution of Vivah or marriage to bring in order and discipline through sublimation of sex. The Vedic injunction against sex for pleasure by allowing copulation between lawfully wedded husband and wife at an appropriate time only to beget children continues to hold in check humans running amuck for wild sex.
Many a time varied reasons like death and disease cause separation between the husband and wife at a young age when they are childless, so what is the way out to enable the separated man or woman to fulfill the religious duty of leaving behind a son or a daughter so that the human race not only survives but prospers. Well the answer is NIYOG.
When a widow wishes to have children after the demise of her husband, she lets the social order know of her desire and selection of a male member for copulation as per Vedic Vidhan to beget a child, it is termed as Niyog. In the case of Niyog “ the widowed woman remains in the house of the deceased husband…..children born of Niyog are not called children of the begetter, nor belong to his family, nor has he any claim over the children.” This excerpt is taken from the Satyarth Prakash chapter four written by Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati in Hindi and translated into English by Pt Ganga Prasad Upadhyay.
In this context it is important to make clear the claim of the child born of Niyog on the property of the man who begot him or her. A child begotten in Niyog will continue the lineage of the deceased husband of the widow and get a share in the property of the deceased husband of the widow concerned and live in her marital home. Thus one may say that a child begotten in Niyog has no legal share in the property of the man whose sperm fertilized the egg of his mother to bring him into this world. Similarly, the begetter of the baby in Niyog will never ever lay a claim of any kind at birth or thereafter. In the eye of law, no relationship moral, spiritual or financial will exist between the begetter and the baby.
IS NIYOG A SIN
A doubting Thomas may raise a doubt about the legal validity of Niyog by pointing out the erroneous thought and labeling Noyog as adultery. Let it be understood that Niyog is not a sin nor an adulterous act. Niyog is willful and consensual act of sex between a man and a woman with the sole intent of begetting a baby and it is done within the knowledge of the social order that the two belong to. It is not a hush-hush affair done for fun at night under the cover of darkness. The common point between a lawful marriage and a Niyog is : Both are made known to the social order that the man and the woman belong to. Well, a question may arise: what happens if the first attempt to impregnate a woman fails? Well, there is no embargo on making a second or a third attempt. One should remember that the declared desired intention of the man and the woman concerned is to have a baby and everyone in the neighbourhood knows about it. So, Niyog is not a sin or a crime because it is not done under the cover of darkness or in secrecy. On the other hand, adultery is a nocturnal affair where sex is performed for fun away from the prying eyes of the social or moral police, what to say of the State Police.
It would be a good idea to quote from the Satyarth Prakash what Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati wrote in reply to a question about procedure to be followed in Niyog :
“ Just as marriage is performed by proclamation, so is NIYOG. As marriage requires sanction of the society and consent of the couple, so does Niyog. When a man and a woman want to perform Niyog, they ought to declare before men and women of their families that they want to enter into Niyog relation for the sake of issues, that they will sever their connection when the purpose of Niyog is fulfilled, that they should be counted as sinners and be penalized by the society and the State if they do otherwise, that they will meet for intercourseonly once a month and will abstain from intercourse for a year after the conception.
( The translation from Hindi into English is done by Pt Ganga Prasad Upadhyay, an eminent Vedic scholar and preacher par excellence)
The Rishivar, a great religious and social reformer, was determined to apprise people of Bharat and later of the world the correct concept of Vedic Dharma and encourage both the Vedic Dharmis and others to follow what the Vedas laid down. That is the only way our human race may show an improvement.The observant Swami knew what way the sinners were going and reforming them was his duty, he thought. He advocated Niyog with the same fervor as the age-old institution of marriage – the Vedic Vivah. He equated the two procedures as the way to procreate. Sexual intercourse was the only way to procreate and one should not have a sense of shame or Lajja in advocating propagation of Niyog.
In the fourth chapter of the Satyarth Prakash dwelling on Niyog, Rishivar wrote and I quote him in original Hindi :
“ Niyam se Vivah hone se ( stree-Purush ka sambhog – bracketed words are mine) vyabhichar nahi kahata, to niyampoorvak NIYOG hone se vyabhichar nahi kahavega………Ved shastrokt Niyog mein vyabhichar, paap, lajja na manana chahiye”
A free rendering into English would run thus: If a man and a woman are married as per the laid down procedure( their cohabitation would not be called promiscuity), likewise Niyog done as per procedure would not be termed promiscuity. Niyog performed as per Vedic and Shastriya procedure would not be termed promiscuity entailing sin and shame.
It can be safely said that the Seer of the Arya Samaj knew that the sexual instinct of human beings led them astray. The Hindu widows were at the receiving end and quite oppressed socially. Their social and economic condition would improve if they were socially permitted to beget children and have a hope in the future. Therefore, Maharishi Dayanand strongly advocated through his writings and speeches the reintroduction of Niyog in our socio-religious order.
FUTURE OF NIYOG
As of now the social acceptance of Niyog in the Hindu social order is rather dismal. The forward looking socio-religious organization like the Arya Samaj, founded by Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati in 1875 in Mumbai did not spearhead the movement. In 1877 with the establishment of the Arya Samaj in Lahore, the Punjab became its citadel. However, it was rather unfortunate that the Arya stalwarfs including Pradhans of the Arya Samaj Anarkali, Lahore like Lala Saindas, Mahatma Hansraj and others were rather lukewarm to the concept of Niyog. It was socially unacceptable in the open parlance but practiced clandestinely without flying the flag of Niyog.
Like the Garbhadhan Sanskar, the Niyog too could not gain popularity as men and women devoted to the Ten Principles of the Arya Samaj were rather diffident in declaring that on a particular day or night they would be sharing the bed with the avowed aim of begetting a child. What if the effort failed and conception did not take place? The couple might become the laughing stock of the persons known and unknown. Thus performing a Havan for Garbhadhan or with the declared intention of Niyog requires a lot of social courage that they lacked. Therefore, both these SANSKARS REMAINED A THEORETICAL EXERCISE CONFINED TO THE PAGES OF THE SANSKAR VIDHI AND THE SATYARTH PRAKASH.