Hermeneutics of 'Matritva': A Study on Motherhood in Indic culture

5 Pages Posted: 18 May 2018

See all articles by Sujit Roy

Sujit Roy

Independent Research Analyst

Date Written: November 9, 2017


Motherhood in English is what can be transliterated as ‘Matritva’ in Sanskrit and vice versa. Each and every culture provides its own way of understanding and interpretations of reality which connotes to a unique contextual meaning of the social world to its members. Matritva in Indic culture is merely not a concept, but it has been a reality with multi-ramifications in Indian society from time immemorial. Hermeneutics in general refers to analysis, interpretations and understanding of texts, especially religious texts. Modern hermeneutics focus not only on texts but also both on verbal and nonverbal communication as well as semiotics, presuppositions and preunderstandings. ‘Bhashya’ in Sanskrit may be what is meant by hermeneutics in English. Indic culture here refers to the way of life of the people of the Indian subcontinent from the pre-historic time, which has been continuing in a sublime subtle way through the ages. Matritva has been one of the defining characteristics of the Indic culture. Then, the study on motherhood in Indic culture should be particularistic in nature with the emphasis on the feelings of Indian mothers in different social locations and their worldviews entwined with the quest for identity as mothers. The present study has been an attempt to sketch out motherhood in Indic culture from the perspective of hermeneutical circle in respect of the word Matritva with the reciprocity between text and context, which shifts the focus from ‘interpretation’ to ‘existential understanding’ by ‘way of being’ as a mother in the world than merely as ‘a way of knowing’ motherhood.

Keywords: Hermeneutics, Matritva, Motherhood, Indic culture

Suggested Citation

Roy, Sujit, Hermeneutics of 'Matritva': A Study on Motherhood in Indic culture (November 9, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3171362 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3171362

Sujit Roy (Contact Author)

Independent Research Analyst ( email )


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