What would be a gender-neutral Sanskrit word for "Putra"? Moreover something that can replace putra in one of the Prayers to Lord Ganesh "Banjhan ko Putra det"

  • Sanskrit is a language of yore. In ancient times, there were no concepts of gender neutral words. Male was male and female was female. And if one were to have only one offspring, it was expected that the child would be male. Hence, the wordings 'Bhanjan ko putra det'. In the context it should be understood as offspring and not just son, since in those times a barren woman was subject to social ridicule and ostracization. Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 4:24
  • Welcome to Hinduism. Sanskrit Language questions are off-topic for our site. Please edit your question to add more religious context to the question. Currently, it only has an example of a Ganesh Bhajan. Please elaborate and add complete sholka to make it more religious questions. Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 4:58
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    @SureshRamaswamy in those times a barren woman was subject to social ridicule and ostracization, can you give me evidences.
    – Suraj Jain
    Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 15:10
  • @ Suraj Jain - had there been conclusive evidence, it would have been an answer and not a comment. The practice was prevalent - ask your mother,if a childless married woman of five or more years was ever allowed to participate in Godh bharaa rasam, even though invited, not in days of yore, but fifty years back. If that isn't ridicule and / or ostracization - then tell me what is. Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 6:44

2 Answers 2


Corresponding to notion offspring/issue we refer to Santhan / Santhanam a term not gender specific.. in Sanskrit as well as other indian languages.

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    @Narasimham: santānam or saṃtānam is applied to mean the lineage or succession and less often to mean son or daughter. The basic sense from MW : "continued succession , continuance , continuity' then "continuous succession , lineage , race , family , offspring , son or daughter".
    – PCH
    Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 14:17
  • Correct me if wrong. E.g., we say "Laabh" (profit) it connotes both the utility/ purpose part in a process of obtaining more income over expenditure as well as the amount of money in quantitative units. In Sanskrit and Indian language usage the one is indistinguishable from the other imho.
    – Narasimham
    Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 20:22
  • apatyam is the grammatically neuter gender Sanskrit word menaing "offspring , child , descendant".
  • sūnu also means both son and daughter and Monier Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary:

[Note the grammaatical gender of a word as opposed to its lexical sense is indicated by n. = neuter gender m. = masculine and f. = feminine]

ápatya n. offspring , child , descendant

sūnu m. a son, child, offspring, RV.; f. a daughter, Mn. i, 10

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    Like Santhan = offspring has no gender.
    – Narasimham
    Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 6:15
  • @Narasimham Thanks! I think santan could be the word! Thanks Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 6:17

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