Before our marriage, DN and I would imagine what life would be like as a married couple. In one of our sappy discussions (over Facebook’s calling feature, no less) I called him पति जी or Pati Ji. Pati meaning husband, and Ji is a title given out of respect. Normally, it’s a bit out of place to call your husband by “husband”, but I was practicing my Hindi at the time, and he didn’t seem to mind. I asked him how to say “wife” in Hindi.
“Patni.” he said. “My Dharmapatni.”
So husband is “Pati” and wife is “Patni”… But what is dharmapatni? When I asked him the same question, at first, he couldn’t summon a proper translation.
Photo by Tejal Patel via Flickr.com
To break it down, dharmapatni consists of two words: Dharma and patni (which we already know means wife). The word dharma has many meanings in Hinduism, and even outside of Hinduism.
A few possible meanings, include:
To simplify this, think of dharma as what you have to do in life, and karma as the consequences in result of what you do. That being said, it’s safe to say that dharmapatni could have several meanings.
- Dutiful wife
- Virtuous wife
- Righteous wife
- Lawful wife
- Devoted wife
Photo by Raj Boora via Flickr.com
Or all of the above. After some time, DN took the time to explain that a dharmapatni is a wife that would equally share the duties in life. Social duties, religious duties, and so on. Because a man and woman become one after marriage, in a way, think of them as Yin and Yang. Balance, duality, serving, and completing one another. He goes on to say that a dharmapatni has full devotion to her husband first, and then to her sense of duty.
If you, my insightful readers, have anything to add to this, please leave a comment! I would love to learn more from you.
Featured photo by Shashank Mhasawade via Flickr.com