Is niyoga – begetting children through some man other than one’s husband – an authorized Vedic practice?

by Chaitanya Charan dasJanuary 31, 2014

Answer Podcast

Transcription by:Vinesh Ramjith

Edited by:Priyanka Amit Kumar

Question :Is niyoga, the practice of begetting children through some man, other than husband an authorised Vedic practice?

Answer: Yes, it is mentioned in the Manu Smriti as well as in Mahabaratha, and that is how Dhritrashtra, Pandu and Vidura were born,  through Vyasadev.

Niyoga basically refers to the practice in which a wife can beget children through some other man, incase her husband is dead or  is incapable of producing children or for anyother reason whatsoever, in order to continue the dynasty.  Such step is taken by the wife with the consent of her  husband, or with the consent, rather the. instructions of the elders. Such step is not inititaed by her but the others.Generally ,that  other man has to be either a respectable relative, or some respectable person of the society,

The purpose of this practise is  begetting progeny, and not pleasure.  Further,to avoid it from  being misused, a person is not allowed to do this more than 3 times, whether it’s the man or woman. That’s why Vyasadev,  refuses to beget one more child ,after already  begetting 3 children by following  it 3 times, when his mother Satyavati asks  him to. Similarly Kunti  begets  3 Pandavas from 3 devas, and  when Pandu asks for  more children Kunti refuses to do so.

. In  Manu Samhita, Niyog is mentioned as a practice for continuing the progeny, but it is described that in kaliyuga, people are too lusty, and often the focus is on the sexual act , far away  from procreation. It’s focus is  too much on bodily enjoyment, and that is why this practice is not recomdmended in kaliyuga.deveren satoutpatticha  is also described in the Puranas  as something which is not allowed ,  kalau pancham vivarjaye,  5 things which are not allowed in kaliyuga, and one of them is begetting a child through devar, the brother-in-law, or someone similar.

Therfore,  it is an authorized Vedic practice meant for continuing the lineage, but it is not allowed in kaliyuga.

Thank you. Hare Krishna.

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Chaitanya Charan das

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