Gender at janaka's court: Women in the bṛhadāraṇyaka upaniṣad reconsidered [Book Review]

Journal of Indian Philosophy 36 (3):405-426 (2008)
The female characters in the Br̥hadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad have generally been interpreted by scholars in two opposing fashions: as fictional characters whose historicity can be dismissed or as representative of actual women in ancient India. Both of these interpretations, however, overlook the literary elements of this text and the role that these female characters play within the larger philosophical debate. This paper is an analysis of the various women who appear in the Br̥hadāraṇyaka and their role in this text. Close attention is paid to their characterizations, their relationship to the doctrine discussed, and their functions in the larger narrative structure. The paper concludes with a discussion about the relationship of narrative to history and fundamental problems with the “woman question” based on this text.
Keywords Upaniṣad  Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad  White Yajurveda  Ancient India  Gender  Women  Brahman  Brahmodya  Genealogy  Yājñavalkya  Gārgī  Maitreyī  Gandharva
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10781-008-9035-y
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,411
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
George Thompson (1997). The Brahmodya and Vedic Discourse. Journal of the American Oriental Society 117 (1):13-37.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

16 ( #281,260 of 1,924,713 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #417,761 of 1,924,713 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.