Prem Sumain Jain’s “The Faithful Wife, Rohini” and Related Allegories Introduction The paper refers to three course texts that tell in different ways of how women were regarded in ancient India. The story of Rohini is one of several belonging to Jain literature that stresses the virtue of women. Dr. Jain’s translation is of a Prakit commentary by Armadavasuri before the 12th century Akhyanakamanikora. It is interesting to compare with the Mahabharata, Adi Parvan of long before that also features a fine woman who must deal with accusations that her husband makes against her character. Attitudes towards women in ancient India can very much disappoint. There seems always a fixed ideal of a noble wife who has virtue no matter what her level of...The end:
.....idelity as was the experience of Sakuntala. A reader of today sees why Rohini might have had enough of a world run by men, and choose a religious life, instead. Her civilization demanded everything of a respectable wife amidst disasters created by men. In 6th BC poems by Buddhist nuns, one sees that Indian women of all classes were leaving their husbands, here and there, to become nuns. In the poem Mutta, a woman says, “So free am I, so gloriously free… free from three petty things – - from mortar, pestle, and from my twisted lord.” (p. 68) Domestic life did not suit another nun either who wrote, “How free I am!” and several lines to do with cooking and “free too of that unscrupulous man.” (Sumangalamata, p.69) Rohini made the right choice.