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Mandan and Ubhayabharati

It is an extract from Ubhyabharati By Nabakisore Raj. Originally written in Odiya Language I have tried my best to reflect the thoughts of the author in English. Wish all of you a nice reading.

Mandan Mishra & Ubhyabharati were renowned figures during the times of Sankaracharya and were known the for their peerless knowledge on vedic scriptures.

Everyone in the family was happy in the proposal of the marriage for Mandan. 

Mandan has never perfectly seen Ubhayabharti. She occasionally comes for a visit to her brother’s house and returns after staying for few days. It was strict instruction from Gurudev. A brahamchari should never see a woman’s face. And Mandan strictly followed the instructions.

He has only seen her hurrying feet under the beautiful pink or blue ghagra. Those beautiful pair of feet painted with red alata, decorated with a pair of paaunji, makes one think of the Devi Saraswati, the one who is vast like the rivers and the great among the goddesses. He never know, why those pair of feet, make him think of the goddess of knowledge Saraswati.

Mandan was honestly excited; he was going to marry someone who is like a Devi.

Mandan as the bridegroom was looking like a prince on the marriage day.  The principal priest started the ritual with -
Mangala Bhagaban, Vishnu,
Mangalo Mandusudhana,
Mangalha Pundarikayshya
Mangalang Garuadwhaja.
 One after other all the pious vedic mantas were sung, to commence the marriage ritual. The time of the most important ritual – Panigrahan (Acceptance of hand) came. Mandan’s hand was locked with Ubhayabharti’s hand with a small thread of Kusa grass.

Mandan’s heart started beating rapidly with the soft touch of a female. He was confused, is he not going to be under the influence of the Maya for the rest of his life –is it Good or Bad?

With the instruction of the priest, Mandan repeated the vow of marriage “Oh! Great Nari, to be more fortunate I accept thee as  my wife”

Kumariala (The Guru of Mandan & Brother of Ubhayabharati) utterd the prayer to Devi Aryama
“Oh Aaryam,
We pray thee,
as a gourd is liberated from the bondage of its plant,
we liberate this girl from our family,
for to be a part of her Husband’s Family”
Ubhayaharait’s Father said thus as he blessed her:
Oh my dear daughter, you are now the wedded wife of you husband, I bless you, make you family happy with Joy & Sweetness.
In tearful eyes the family bade farewell to Ubhayabharati.


Sisters in laws and their friends decorated Ubahayabharti into a peerless beauty and made her seated on a flowery bed. Mandan was nervous; he not even ventured to roam around the room. He was forced by his jovial sister in laws to enter the room. As he entered, they all locked the room from outside.
Even Ubhayabharti was nervous. She rose up from the bed, as she saw her husband inside. She Bowed him with respect and tried to touch his feet. As she was doing thus, Mandan tried to lift her up, Bharati felt the trembling hands of her husband. She smiled in her mind. Brother has informed her correct. She realised, although Mandan has married to her, but there is still the influence of being a strict celibate of the Gurukul.

"Swami, kindly be Seated", Bharati requested Madan as she indicated him to sit on the bed beside her.
Mandan sat a little away from her.

"Sit near to me, I am not any other woman, I am your wedded wife"

Mandan moved near her a little, still keeping distance in between.

Bharati was intelligent. She knew that there is nothing uncommon about his behaviour to her. It is certainly difficult on the part of a strict celibate, to take the 1st step in the married life. She knew, it has to be her, to become the lead, to begin the journey of a happy married life.

"Swami, Being a scholar, have you ever participated in Sastra debate?"


"I am not as intelligent as you are, but have read few Shastras. If You permit, can we start a Sastra debate between you and me?"

Mandan became interested in the proposal. It was certainly a nice opportunity to get excuse from unimaginable and inexperienced encounter with a woman. He wished the discussion might last till the morning. He replied , "Yes I am interested".

"I shall ask the questions, let you answer"


"Is it possible for a married person to maintain celibacy ?"

"No, it is not possible. Relationship with a woman ruins celibacy"

"Ok Great! Now elaborate the meaning of this verse from  the Book of Manu -

//Nindhyaswastasu chanyasu, 
Striyo rattrisu barjanam. 
Brahamacharyab bhabati 
yataa tatrasrame basanm//"

Mandan deciphered the meaning.

"leaving 1st 4 nights of the periods,  the nights of ekadasi and trayodasi, and two similar kinds of pious nights, if one household courts with his wedded wife, can maintain his celibacy"

Bharati laughed lightly and said, " See you got defeated. Now here is the 2nd question -
Among Dharma (Duty), Artha (wealth), Kama ( Desire) and Mokshya (Salvation) which one is the most important"

"Dharma (Duty)"

"No, Incorrect. The universe is created from Kama (Desire). it is said  // Kamastadgre Sambabartadhi//. Its desire that give birth to creation. Kamana (to desire) is not infereior. It's the starting point of creativity. If the desire becomes intense it becomes a Vow. And the power of vow can create anything. Kindly explain the following verse of Atharv Veda - // Ye Trisapta Pariyante, Biswarupani Bibharata //"

"Trisapta (3 + 7 = 10) meaning 10. Ten is the manifestation of all facets of the universe"

"Here is the 3rd Question"

"This number 10, how is the manifestation of the whole universe? Can you explain? Explain as if I am a layman, ignorant of scriptures"

Mandan pondered, How confused he is with the question. What a strange question Bharati has asked him. Though it seems simple, but must have deeper meaning. Mandan Lifted his hands.

"Sorry, can't answer. You say"

" See you got defeated for the third time. So here is the answer:
if you write ten in figures. it  is 1 and 0. 1 represents the male element and 0 the female element. With the union of male and female there is creation of everything"

"Bharati, from where you got such strange explanation?

" There is no such explanation in Vedic scriptures. The Vedas are based on facts. What I explained is a Tanatric interpretation"

"May I ask you the 4th question?"

"You Can"

"What is the origin of sexual pleasure?"

"Can't say, you explain"

" // Punsa sisma upastastu prajatyanda nibrute // The origin of the sexual pleasure is from the male organ of the Virata Purusa ( The Supreme Man)."

" Swami, If I am Earth, you are .....?"

" Sky"

"If I am, Voice, you are.....?"


"If I am Devotion, you are....?"


"If I am Rig, You are...?"

"Sama Veda"

"What is the meaning of  // Yoni Sariram //"

"From the female organ, body takes birth"

"Swami, Yoni is not impure. A husband with the divine union with his wife, begets life"

"May, I ask you something?"

Mandan was getting interested

" Without any hesitation, ask anything you want".

"It is said Man is Independent, Woman is dependent. Why so?"

"Both are dependent. that to on each other. Man is incomplete without a woman. A woman by her support and beauty completes a man"

" What is the difference between a Man and Woman?"

" Almost nil. Life can never be classified under Sex. Swetasatwa Upanisad Says, it's on basis of unbiased Nature's judgement; based upon our past deeds, life take different forms and there upon it gets the identity of being male or female."

" Is there no behavioral difference between them?"

" Man believes on the Mind, while Woman believes on the Heart"

"The great Manu has said that Woman pollutes man, why so?"

"It's True, what the great Manu has said. But this is not applicable for a Grihasta (a Household). It is applicable for Brahamachari ( Student Celibate) & a Banasapti( a Renounced person). For a married man, woman is important. // Na tanti bidyate Bina, Na chakre bidyate Ratha //. As without string a Bina cannot be played, as without wheel a chariot is useless ; so without a woman a married man has no existence. Love is happiness, hatred is sadness. Gods dwells in those places where women are respected."

"Justify, why woman is always seen as an object of Lust"

"She is the object of lust, for the one who are lustful. Otherwise she is the embodiment of Motherhood"

"Can, you be Motherly to me?"

"Yes, Once I beget your child. Children have all the features of woman's husband. Thus she is indirectly mother to her Husband"

"Why people Marry?"

" For Pleasure and Children"

"The Reason of Pleasure?"

"Happiness. The world is filled with happiness. Its existence is on the same and so also its future"
"What kind of relationship you desire from me?"

" // Nasti bharya, sama mitra// " ( Wife like a friend)

" So also I desire. What kind of behavior you expect from me?"

" A lover, can never see faults of his beloved. This is also applicable for a loving husband. So I desire"

"A woman is said weak, why?"

"Woman is the nature and the power. With the help of a powerful man nature becomes action. you decide"

"Describe me more about the natures of a woman"

"A woman is peaceful by nature, hence she is calm & composed. She has the sense of sacrifice and controlling ability. She is beautiful, attractive, cheerful, sportive and full of devotion and belief"

"These are all good qualities of a woman. Are there no bad qualities ?"

"Yes, there are. Sleepiness, Laziness, Quarrelsome, Envious, fearful, selfish etc."

"Why many times scriptures have blamed woman?"

"A woman is never blamed as long she is righteous, rather she is respected. Scriptures has never blamed woman but it has blamed Lust.

Brahamabaibarta Purana has described three kinds of women.

'The 1st Kind - Swadhi: Who helps her helps her husband as a friend, keeping preview of past and future'

'The 2nd Kind - Bhogya: The one who is materialistic. She likes being dressed well , loves Jewellery and satisfies the desires of her husband'

'The 3rd kind Kulta  - The one who is cruel to her husband and have many bad habits. Such kind of women are blamed not only in scriptures but everywhere. For them the whole womanhood faces the blame"

"Why woman are said to be impure?"

"Women principally are pure. They are purified physically by nature; by periodic menstrual cycle"

"How is a woman's body?"

With this question Bharati gave a smile full of shyness and softly said, " Never Seen a woman's body?
........ How would you. You were a celibate....."

"A woman's body is abode of peace. It's cool like Chandan"

"I have spend many years as a strict celibate. In Gurukul we have been instructed not to discuss about women. Never to chat & laugh with Women. Never see their face directly. A maintain celibacy in all respect.

Can you say ; Even a woman also maintains celibacy?"

" Yes , she does, till she gets married. For an unmarried girl, Her father/ uncle or brother is  her Guru. As my guru was my Brother, Kumaraila"

"Woman is fire, Man is the pot of fuel"

" No harm. Kalika Purana says - // Sarba, Yagnam Jagata// Everything is created of sacred fire"

"You are so much knowledgeable. You know so many scriptures. But in our culture women are limited to households only. Have your mind never revolted?"

" Ignorant woman unknown of scriptures think of revolt. Rocks are never treasured. Diamonds are treasured. A noble woman is as precious as diamond. Lucky are those who have them"

" In eyes of a married woman, how are other men?"

"For a married woman, Her husband is the only man"

"In Scriptures women are said to maintain strict loyalty one man. But in contrast men courts many women. Is it not Unfair?"

" Never. Nature guides rules. Its Woman's nature to love deeply, while Man's love is universal. Man is multifaceted. He is the reason of creation, Control & destruction. For a woman being loyal to one man is simple and comes by her nature."

"What you think about Guru"

" // Gururreba Parambrambha // (Teacher is God). a Husband is his wife's Guru so in turn is like God. As you never keep on shuffling Gurus, and thinks it's a crime, but respect to only one Guru. So also a wife is can never think of anyone other than her husband"

"Can you recall - As per Vedic Regulation woman are said to be protected?"

"Not only protected, but also to be respected."

"Do you feel bad, for leaving your Father's family"

"No, Their affection was limited, I am certain of getting unlimited affection from you"

"Is there any difference between love and devotion"

"Love full of affection is devotion"

"Is woman an object of pleasure?"

"Neither woman nor man are object of pleasure. Both gets pleasure being with each other"

"What is the duty of a Household?"

"To be in the righteous path be faithful to his wife and to maintain his family peacefully"

"My last question - Who is great, Man or Woman?"

"You will be dissatisfied by my answer"

"I won't be, aren't you my friend"

"There is no important place of man in nature. Every Knowledge is feminine and the embodiment of Devi. To deliver the seed, man is needed momentarily. Rest is in the hands of a woman. There are many things to say on woman. One can never ever describe the greatness of a woman.........."

Bharati Paused for moment looking at Mandan's eyes and she said, " My love, are you displeased?"

"I am not a woman, I need not be displeased on such things"

"Man's emotion is a same as woman, though he never accepts but sinks deep in love and emotion"

Mandan became silent. He thought how knowledgeable his wife is. She has defeated him in the debate. But in that defeat there is no displeasure, but feel of pride.

Bharati saw that her husband is lost in deep thoughts.

With full of love in her eyes she asked her husband, "My love, like to taste honey?"

"Where is honey?"

"Honey is there in the lips of a woman and Salt in her eyes"

Mandan dragged Bharati to his arms. Bharati surrendered herself to her husband as if a trailing climber coils around a big tree.


excellent translation ..lyk staunch odia mediam student who have thourouly got into the whole novel ...only translation of our odia novel by our renowned writer is only medium to reach other people n thereby our odia literature will be flourished..keep translating..
Anonymous said…
Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you ever been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The full glance of your web site is excellent, as neatly as the content!
Anonymous said…
I an Exhauseted!!!Its very difficult to make understand others on such issues with the help of our great Indian literature, but you succeeded!!!I must say, please translate further part of the book. Awaiting for your next edition!!!
Rosallin Sahoo said…
Hi, I felt really nice reading ur narrated story and most important u wrote it, good keep it up.

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