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Niyog is an ancient custom practiced in India, particularly in royal families, whereby either a highly respected individual, or a Braahman, or a brother of a dead man produce children from his widow. This was not a respected custom during Mahaabhaarat times, it was criticized, the children born of such union were often subjected to ridicule and women generally hated being subject to it, still it was a time-honored custom. The scriptures sanctioned it, and men of great honor adopted it when here was no option open to them.

It was not necessary that the man has to be dead for Niyog. Even when the man was alive but for some reason could not have a child himself, he himself could propose his wife for Niyog and in such situations the wife had to agree for it as she thought herself responsible to extend the family line of her husband. There are many such examples in our scriptures.

It may be called as legal adultery in which an infertile husband allows his wife to beget progeny from another man. The children born from such Niyog were considered the children of the original father. There are many examples of such Niyog in Hindu scriptures.

(1) The first and foremost example such Niyog is from Mahaabhaarat where Ambikaa and Ambaalikaa, the widows of Vichitraveerya, had the Niyog with Ved Vyaas Jee on the advise of their mother-in-law Satyavatee. Vyaas Jee inseminated his deceased brother's widows; and thus Dhritraashtra and Paandu were born from them.

(2) Another example of such Niyog is also from Mahaabhaarat, when Kuntee and Maadree had their five sons from Devtaa.

(3) The earliest example is when Parashuraam Jee emptied Prithvi from Kshatriya after killing them 21 times, then from where the Kshatriya race started? The fact is that most Ksahtriya women requested Braahman to give them children.

See for more such examples "Kings who got Children from Rishi"


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 12/08/12