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FEMINIST ANTI-HINDU TROPES - ALLEGATIONS Topics in Hinduism

1 points | Post submitted by suyash95 39 days ago | 5 comments | viewed 53 times

Specific Issues


  • suyash95 39 days ago | +0 points

    Are there any historical records of Sati being challenged by Hindus or banned outright before India's colonization by the British?


    First of all Sati was a relatively rare event practiced mainly by the elite i.e. mainly by the royals and occasionally brahmins, and was voluntary suicide by the widow. I’m sure there were cases of coercion but they were the exception rather than the rule.

    The business of Suttee was grossly exaggerated by Christian Missionaries as propaganda for the denigration of Hinduism and promotion of evangelisation.

    From The Impartial Spectator of Sati 1757 - 84

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/25161260

    The majority of Hindus have always been Sudras and have not, as a general custom practised Sati, in fact many of the Sudra castes permitted widow remarriage.

    The followers of Rāmānuja - the Tengalai Srivaishnavas of South India banned Sati for their community in the 12th century. In fact they also banned the tonsure of widows and the obligation to wear white. The Veerashaivas also banned Sati for their community in the 12th century as well.

    Textual ban is found in the Mahā Nirvana Tantra which clearly states:-

    O Kuleshani (Parvati), a wife should not be burnt with her dead husband. Every woman is your image – you reside concealed in the forms of all women in this world. That woman who, in delusion ascends her husband’s funeral pyre shall go to hell. M.N.T. 10:79-80

    It must also be noted that some Mughal rulers also opposed and banned Sati.

    So not all the credit goes to the British. The way the propagandists carry on one would think Sati was the national sport until the British introduced cricket to distract the folks.

     

     

    The Marathis banned Sati at one point as well.

     

    Sati was nothing compared to witch burning across europe wherein any woman who wasn't liked became a witch but indian history texts books most of them make no mention of it

     

     

     CHILD MARRIAGE -

    In ancient India, what was the age a woman were allowed to marry? What were her daily tasks and her role?

    Up until about 100 years ago the average male life span the world over was 35 to 40 years. Women lived a few years longer.

    The universal age of marriage in all societies was the onset of puberty -i.e. when a girl started menstruating.

    All women from the neanderthal period up until today had the same tasks - mainly caring, gathering, house-keeping, washing, cooking, cleaning, child-rearing etc.

    But after the industrial revolution factory work became available and with the rise of modern education there are ever increasing job opportunities and in most western societies all jobs are open to women.

    India was not much different to Rome, Greece, Egypt or China.

     

    from a Hindu point of view there are several different approaches to this complex topic.

    View of the Vedas. In the Vedas there is no mention of child marriage and all the mantras affirm that the bride was a mature woman when she married. So for example one of the mantras recited from the Rig Veda says:

    “may this woman (nāri) offering grains into the fire ……..”

    Another addresses the bride and says:–

    “May you be an empress in your new home - over your father and mother-in-law - over all the extended family!” - this can hardly be addressed to a child.

    View of Dharma Shastras. Many of the authors began suggesting that a girl should not attain maturity in her father’s house and should be given away (kanyā-dāna) before just before puberty. And so child marriages became the norm from the medieval period until about 100 years ago.

    The Dharma Shastra also gives the provision that if a girl’s marriage has not been arranged by her father when she reaches puberty - she can wait for another 3 years and then choose her own husband.

    Another injunction was that the wife is to be given the responsibility of collecting and spending the wealth of the husband - she is to be in control of the household budget. This would require her to be of some maturity and be educated in basic arithmetic!

    Another element was the essential willingness of the bride - for her to give her consent she would need to be of a suitable maturity to fully understand what she was consenting to.

    View of the Tantras: The Tantras were not very particular and give a general statement that a girl may marry whenever she wanted to as long as there is mutual consent.

    View of the Epics. The epics laud the performance of the svayamvara - in which a young lass chooses her own husband among a number of suitors after a contest. Draupadi and Sita are the exemplars of this form of marriage.

    Caste differences; This is important to note that each and every caste had their own take on marriage which was governed by Custom & Usage. So some castes were matriarchal, some sanctioned child-marriage and some repudiated it, some allowed serial marriages, some allowed polygamy and some encouraged widow remarriage. Multi-culturalism and Diversity have been the hallmarks of the caste system.

    Justification of Child Marriage by its proponents:–

    There are a couple of reasons why child marriage became popular.

    1. Some claim with the rise of Buddhism many young women were leaving home to join the Sanga and so to prevent this the age of marriage was lowered.

    2. There was a high infant and mother mortality rate and so in order to ensure the continuation of the line and for security in old age reproduction had to commence as soon as possible.

    3. Girls were seen in the patriarchal castes as a liability and parents were keen to get them off to a new life as soon as possible. Obviously the matriarchal castes regarded them as an asset since they brought sons-in-law into the family.

    4. Girls in those days matured at a later age than they do nowadays. The average age of menarche was about 14. And menstruation is an indication that a girl is ready to begin reproducing. Note that in rural South Africa girls matured at 15 - so in the days of the Dharma Shastras this would have been the case in rural India as well.

    For a proper perspective we should compare the age of consent under English Law:– In 1275, the first age of consent was set in England, at age 12 (Westminster 1 statute). In 1875, the Offences Against the Person Act raised the age to 13 in Great Britain and Ireland, and ten years later the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885 raised it to 16.

     

    Are there misogynistic verses in the Puranas? If so, how do Hindus justify them?

    Does this apply to all Scriptures ?

     

    We don’t have to justify anything we just cherry-pick the good stuff and throw all the rest out - its like winnowing grain - no farmer needs to “justify” the chaff - he just feeds it to the cows and goats.

    Seeds are the Puranas.

    Husk is all the anti-scientific stuff, superstition, fantasy, misogyny, androgyny, homophobia, Islamophobia, casteism, supremacism, triumphalism and anything else we don’t like.

    Grain is all the good wholesome digestible stuff like compassion, kindness, generosity, diversity, inclusivity, equality, knowledge, philosophy, yoga, austerity, discipline etc. etc.

    We have an entire library of Puranas, Agamas, Tantras, Vedas etc. - we don’t have the time to read it all - not even a single book - so we just take the beneficial essence and live on that.

    Or failing that we just use common sense.



    WOMEN AND UPANAYANA

    Then finally - are women entitled to Upanayana and Vedic learning?

    The Gobhila Grihya Sutra, which is based on the Mantra-Brahmana, while giving the details of the initiation ceremony, describes the form in which a woman could be initiated into Vedic studies and actually uses the word Yajnopavitini. (Gobhila Grhya Sutra 3:7, 13;)

    Leading forward (from the house to the sacred fire, the bride) who is wrapped in her robe and wears the sacrificial cord over her left shoulder, he should murmur (the verse), 'Soma gave her to the Gandharva' (MB. I, 1, 7).2:1:19




    Why do we find many Hindu women liberal, despite Manusmriti's subjugation?

    It’s always useful to actually quote the verses which one is criticising.

    This is what Manu said about women - which I would submit is the majority position even today. I challenge you to find any teaching comparable to this in any other Scripture including the Bible and Koran.

    pitṛbhir bhrātṛbhiś ca-etāḥ patibhir devarais tathā | pūjyā bhūṣayitavyāś ca bahukalyāṇam īpsubhiḥ || 3:55 ||

    55. Women must be honoured (pūjya = worshipped) and adorned by their fathers, brothers, husbands, and brothers-in-law, who desire (their own) welfare.

    yatra nāryas tu pūjyante ramante tatra devatāḥ | yatra-etās tu na pūjyante sarvās tatra-a.phalāḥ kriyāḥ || 3:56 ||

    56. Where women are honoured, there the gods are pleased; but where they are not honoured, no sacred rite yields rewards.

    śocanti jāmayo yatra vinaśyaty āśu tat kulam | na śocanti tu yatra-etā vardhate tadd hi sarvadā || 3:57 ||

    57. Where the female relations live in grief, the family soon wholly perishes; but that family where they are not unhappy ever prospers.

    jāmayo yāni gehāni śapanty apratipūjitāḥ | tāni kṛtyāhatāni-iva vinaśyanti samantataḥ || 3:58 ||

    58. The houses on which female relations, not being duly honoured, pronounce a curse, perish completely, as if destroyed by magic.

    tasmād etāḥ sadā pūjyā bhūṣaṇa.ācchādana’śanaiḥ | bhūti kāmair narair nityaṁ satkareṣu-utsaveṣu ca || 3:59 ||

    59. Hence men who seek (their own) welfare, should always honour women on holidays and festivals with (gifts of) ornaments, clothes, and (dainty) food.

    santuṣṭo bhāryayā bhartā bhartrā bhāryā tatha-eva ca | yasminn eva kule nityaṁ kalyāṇaṁ tatra vai dhruvam || 3:60 ||

    60. In that family, where the husband is pleased with his wife and the wife with her husband, happiness will assuredly be lasting.

    yadi hi strī na roceta pumāṁsaṁ na pramodayet | apramodāt punaḥ puṁsaḥ prajanaṁ na pravartate || 3:61 ||

    61. For if the wife is not radiant with beauty, she will not attract her husband; but if she has no attractions for him, no children will be born.

    striyāṁ tu rocamānāyāṁ sarvaṁ tad rocate kulaṁ | tasyāṁ tv arocamānāyāṁ sarvam eva na rocate || 3:62 ||

    62. If the wife is radiant with beauty, the whole house is bright; but if she is destitute of beauty, all will appear dismal.

    These teachings of Manu are reiterated, affirmed and amplified in the Mahābhārata by Bhīṣma:-

    Bhishma said, They that are conversant with ancient history recite the following verse of Daksha, the son of Prachetas: That maiden, in respect of whom nothing is taken by her kinsmen in the form of dowry cannot be said to be sold. 13-81-1

    Respect, kind treatment, and everything else that is agreeable, should all be given unto the maiden whose hand is taken in marriage. 13-81-2

    Her sire and brothers and father-in-law and husband's brothers should show her every respect and adorn her with ornaments, if they be desirous of reaping benefits, for such conduct on their part always leads to considerable happiness and advantage. 13-81–3

    If the wife does not like her husband or fails to gladden him, from such dislike and absence of joy, the husband can never have issue for increasing his race. 13-81–4

    Women, O king, should always be worshipped and treated with affection. There where women are treated with respect, the very deities are said to be filled with joy. 13-81–5

    There where women are not worshipped, all acts become fruitless. If the women of a family, in consequence of the treatment they receive, grieve and shed tears, that family soon becomes extinct. 13-81–6

    Those houses that are cursed by women meet with destruction and ruin as if scorched by some Atharvan rite. Such houses lose their splendour. Their growth and prosperity cease. O king, 13-81–7

    Manu, on the eve of his departure for Heaven, made over women to the care and protection of men, saying that they are weak, that they fall an easy prey to the seductive wiles of men[1], disposed to accept the love that is offered them, and devoted to truth. 13-81–8

    There are others among them that are full of malice, covetous of honours, fierce in disposition, unlovable, and impervious to reason. Women, however, deserve to be honoured, so O men, show them honour. 13-81–9

    The righteousness of men depends upon women. All pleasures and enjoyments also completely depend upon them. So serve them and worship them, bend your wills before them. 13-81–10

    The begetting of offspring, the nursing of children already born, and the accomplishment of all acts necessary for the needs of society, all these are dependent upon women. 13-81–11

    By honouring women, you are sure to attain success in all your projects. In this connection a princess of the house of Janaka the ruler of the Videhas, sang a verse. 13-81–12

    It is this: Women have no sacrifices ordained for them. There are no Sraddhas which they are called upon to perform. They are not required to observe any fasts. To perform their duty towards their husbands and in-laws is their only obligation. Through the discharge of that duty they succeed in conquering heaven. 13-81–13

    In childhood, the father protects her. The husband protects her in youth. When she becomes old, her sons, protect her. At no period of her life should a woman be left alone.13-81–14

    Women are goddesses of prosperity. The person that desires affluence should honour them. By cherishing women, O Bharata, one cherishes the goddess of prosperity herself. 13-81–15

    iti śrīmanmahābhārate anuśāsanaparvaṇi dāna-dharma-parvaṇi ekāśītitamo’dhyāyaḥ || 81 ||


    [1] Swalpa-kaupinah literally is covered with a small piece of cloth, hence, capable of being easily seduced.





    Why did the Hindu gods Vishnu, Shiva, Indra, Soma, Birahaspati, Varuna, Surya, and Ashwinkumara rape? Why is rape allowed in the Manusmriti and Mahabharata?


    yo'kāmāṃ dūṣayet kanyāṃ sa sadyo vadham arhati |

    sakāmāṃ dūṣayaṃstulyo na vadhaṃ prāpnuyānnaraḥ ||

    A man who rapes an unwilling maiden should be immediately executed, but a man who spoils a willing maiden who is his equal, should not be executed

    Manu 8.364

    Yajñavalkya (13:9-12 13:28 -29) says that in cases of both rape and incest the guilty man’s penis and scrotum should first be cut off and then he should be executed.

    The Victim

    According to Vasishtha Dharma Sutra 17;73

    bālādapahrtā kanyā yadi mantrair na saṃskṛtā | anyasmai vidhivad deyā yathā kanyā tathaiva sā ||

    Where a damsel is taken by force, but is not solemnly married according to religious rites, she may be given in marriage to another, for she is considered as a virgin.

    According to Parashara 10:21

    If a woman is raped, or by putting her in terror, or after she has been taken as a prisoner of war: she is to perform the Santapana penance: the stain is thus removed.

    According to Atri 193 – 194

    A woman who is raped is considered as pure after she has menstruated since through menstruation women are completely purified.

    According to Yajñavalkya 3:20 if she falls pregnant from the rape she can legitimately have an abortion.

    So in summary a rapist is to be executed and the victim is to be treated with compassion and restored to her social status.



    Does Hinduism want men to control their wives? Does Hinduism state husband is the ruler over his wife and wife is a subordinate to her husband?


    In the wedding ceremony the most important part is taking seven steps together - SAPTA PADI. The bond of marriage is confirmed on the seventh step - this is also defined in the Hindu Marriage act of India.

    Let us check out what the mantra means that the couple are supposed to recite together at this moment of union.

    Sakhā̍ sa̱pta-pa̍dā bhava̱ | sakhā̍yau sa̱pta-pa̍dā babhūva | sa̱khyam te̍ gameyam | sa̱khyāt-te̱ mā yo̍ṣam | sa̱khyān me̱ mā yo̍ṣṭāḥ | sama̍yāva̱ saṅka̍lpāvahai̱ | iṣa̱m-ūrjam a̱bhi-sa̱mvasā̍nau̱ | sannau̱ manā̍guṁsi̱ sam vra̱tā sam u̍ ci̱tāny-aka̍ram ||

    You are my friend in life through these seven steps; may I attain your friendship, may our friendship bind us together; may we never cease being friends, may our intentions be of one accord, may our radiance be one, and our minds united. We are united in harmony and affection, radiant with kind thoughts, enveloped in enjoyment and strength, united are our minds, our vows and our hearts.

    So five times we affirm that the couple are FRIENDS! Can a friendship exists between master and servant? Between superior and subordinate? The answer is obviously NO because there is a power differential and wherever there is a power differential there cannot be true friendship which can only exist between EQUALS.

    Lets take a look at the blessing mantra which is recited at the end of the wedding ceremony. The first one is from the Rig Veda:–

    sa̱mrājñī̱ śvaśu̍re bhava sa̱mrājñī̎ śvaśru̱vāṃ bha̍va | nanā̎ndari sa̱mrājñī̎ bhava sa̱mrājñī̱ adhi̍de̱vṛṣu ||

    Be an empress over your father-in-law, an empress over your mother-in-law, be an empress over your husband's sisters, and an empress over his brothers too. (RV.10.85.46)

    These two are from the Apastamba Mantra Brahmana which is used among those in South India who follow the Krishna Yajur Veda:–

    uddhu̍tta̱ram ā̱rohantī̍ vya̱syantī̍ pṛtanya̱taḥ | mūrdhāna̱ṁ patyu̱r āro̍ha pra̱jayā̍ ca vi̱rāḍ bha̍va ||

    Rise over conflicts and calamities, exceed your husband, and your children in dignity and pride and be you famous. (ApMB. 1.6.5)

    The text actually says “climb on your husband’s head! (mūrdhānam patyur āroha)

    snu̱ṣāṇā̱guṁ śvaśu̍rāṇāṃ pra̱jayā̎śca dhana̍sya ca | patī̍nāṃ ca devṛ̱ṇāṃ ca̍ sajā̱tānā̎ṃ vi̱rāḍ bha̍va ||

    May you radiate over the daughters-in-law in your new home, over all the children and the property, over your husband and his brothers and over all the community. (ApMB. 1.6.7)

    So the wedding ceremony itself defines the ideal relationship between husband and wife - one of equality and friendship, cooperation and harmony. Colluding to achieve common goals in mutual respect and affection.



    Does Indo Aryan scriptures of Manusmriti and Mahabharata (Anushasana Parvam) mandate marriage of girls aged eight and seven years respectively?


    In Hindu culture the age of marriage is decided by the specific caste and community according to custom and tradition and is determined by puberty, not because it is written in some book. Most Hindu customs are not based on “Books” which nobody reads anyway let alone takes them for mandated practice manuals.

    There is no “mandated” age of marriage in Hindu culture.

    Among Brahmins for example the age of marriage was between the age of 10 and 12 - just before the time of the first menstruation - the marriage could not be consummated until she began to menstruate at which time a big ceremony was conducted known as as Prathamārtava śānti. Thereafter the first intercourse could take place again accompanied by a ceremony known as Garbha-dāna.

    Among Kshatriyas it was common to hold a svayamvara - where a mature, post menstrual princess would choose a husband for herself among a number of suitors.

    There is also another valid form of marriage known as Gāndharva-vivāha - in which a young couple choose each other out of love and copulate and live together without parental consent. Some law-givers like Baudhāyana thought that this was the best form of marriage.

    It must be remembered that in all old societies the age of consent for marriage was determined according to the average longevity. And since reproduction was of the greatest imperative and many women and babies died in childbirth or soon after - baby-making had to start as soon as possible in an age when 40 - 50 was the average life-span. Menstruation was the determining factor.

    This article from Wikipedia is very informative about the age of consent and its history in various countries around the world.



    What does Hinduism teach about women? Gita 9:32 calls women lower-birth, we also call women Laxmi (wealth), which means women are tradeable commodities like money. Also in Mahabharat, Draupadi was lost in gambling.


    Firstly the verse in the Gita does not degrade women at all. the pāpa-yoni spoken of refers to lower species - i.e. animals. And the purport of the verse is that EVERYONE regardless of caste, gender or even species that surrenders to Krishna will obtain the goal of life. So the the purport is about equality of all beings in the sight of God.

    Draupadi was waged in gambling by Yuddhisthira who committed an grave sin and was punished for it. So it is not a example to be followed.

    All women are manifestations of Lakshmi means they are goddesses of prosperity not objects to be traded.

    From Lakshmi Tantra Chapter 27

    yatrāhaṃ tatra puṇyāni yatrāhaṃ tatra keśavaḥ | vanitāyāhaṃ tasmānnārī sarvajaganmayī || 63 ||

    Wherever I (Lakshmi) exist, merits too exist, wherever I exist Krsna too exists. I am the womanhood pervading the entire universe and inherent in all women .

    yo 'bhinindati tām nārīṃ sa lakṣmīmabhinindati | yo'bhinindati tāṃ lakṣmīṃ trailokyamabhinindati || 64 ||

    He who abuses women, abuses Lakshmi herself, He who abuses Lakshmi abuses the entire three worlds.

    yo dveṣṭi vanitāṃ kāṃcit sa dveṣṭi harivallabhām | yo harivallabhāṃ dveṣṭi sa dveṣṭi sakalaṃ jagat || 65 ||

    He who bears ill-will against any woman, is ill-disposed towards Laksmi herself.

    He who is ill-disposed towards Lakshmi is ill-disposed towards the entire universe.

    jyotsnām iva striyaṃ dṛṣṭvā yasya cittaṃ prasīdati | nāpadhyāyati yatkiñcit sa me priyatamo mataḥ || 66 ||

    He whose heart is gladdened by the sight of women - like moonlight, and who never entertains evil thoughts about them, he is most dear to me (Lakshmi).

     

    [reply]

  • suyash95 34 days ago | +0 points

    PATRIARCHY -

    Hinduism is a very broad cooperative including numerous different sects and religions so there is not one single answer to any question. It all depends of which philosophical system or sect or community you’re talking about.

    Patriarchy is defined a system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is reckoned through the male line.

    According to this definition, the Dharma Shastra (Classic legal texts) are patriarchical since they deal with the organization of society as well as the line of inheritance. But it is important to bear in mind the Dharma Shastra were written by brahmins for brahmins and that there are hundreds of different castes, sects and communities which were non-brahminical and were matriarchal in structure.

    The Tantra system was very much women orientated.

    From a religious point of view women can be rulers, judges, teachers, philosophers, theologians, gurus (female - gurvi) and even priests - there may be some societal restrictions to them accomplishing these goals but no theoretical or theological reason.

    In the modern world, all notions of patriarchy versus matriarchy are unrequired - modern Hindus are religiously free to apply whatever arrangements best suits their particular social situation. Descent can now be registered according to either or neither and inheritance is decided by the individual and arbitrated by the courts - so religion has no part to play.


    The evolution of society itself was patriarchal. It's only in last 200 years with the evolution of society things have started to change. See patriarchal is not thay cruel torture that men are doing to women etc. It was the core arrangements of society during last thousands of years of human evolution. Men are there to defend and explore the areas and women were required to do the most important job i.e to raise a children and take care of the hood. Because hunting required strength and naturally men are more strong than women. Infact according to writing of Will Durant we actually owe our modern day agriculture to women which lead to advancement of our civilization. So that's how the society was till 1500/1600s. After that in last 500 years 99.8% of things emerged which were not present in last million years of evolution. So religions which are old such as Hinduism is way older and ancient which works on same dynamics. There is no why and what's the reason . Even with reasonable agriculture and farming the men were pushed to work in fields, built, construct things and even women participated. Ancient Vedic period women were very much respected and admired. Post that it started to decline as again the world dynamics disintegrated. Then repeated invasion and destruction have resulted in a society which over values men over women thus creating this bias against women. The history was full of blood and wars and struggles . So patriarchal system did evolved over the course of million years. Now we have a stable life, we don't go for wars and stuffs but the system still exists.

    With advent of modern values like equality and forced equality the system of arrangement of system is challenged. We have to understand that the changes we had in last 200 years is the reason behind all these. The conflict of society arrangements of millions of years vs the comfortable life's which developed over the last 200 years .

    A new direction is needed .since a confusion still exists about how to arrange the society when we have shifted from strength to expression of intellect. Thus instead of conflict we must figure out a way . A way where we rearrange our societal structure which can Carter to everyone needs.

    Since last 200 years were weird. Since never in millions of years apes kept on looking at a box for hours . Mobile phones


    the Vedic texts were rather restrained in their treatment of women in the ancient agrarian context - women had their feminine roles determined by their biology and men had theirs. Women were free to choose their own husbands (svayamvara) and the day to day economical transactions were largely in the hands of women. They had a large degree of social freedom. But the really remarkable textual prescriptions are found in the Tantras of the Middle Ages

    the feminist movement has set the goal too high - nothing short of complete domination will satisfy them and they are a very tiny portion of women. The biological differences will ensure there is never complete “gender equality” (whatever that means!) - that is an unattainable and unrealistic goal.

    [reply]

  • suyash95 34 days ago | +0 points

    MISOGYNY ,SEXISM  -

    One must differentiate between common Hindu social practice and the Hindu Scriptures. What people do is sometimes very different and even the contrary to what the Scriptures teach.

    One of the major problems with Hinduism is the ignorance of the priests. I being a Sudra have discovered that I know more about the Shastras than most Brahmin priests I’ve encountered! The other problem is most of the preachers and teachers are monks and nuns (sanyāsis) and avoid all reference to the householder life (grihastha) and focus only on Liberation (mokṣa).

    To be honest there are many scriptural passages that are misogynistic and many that are pro-women. The Hindu scriptures were written by hundreds of different authors and they provided a panoply of teachings and instructions based on their own interpretations and biases.

    Social Justice Warriors today search out the most atrocious sayings in the texts and triumphantly present them as “Hinduism.” In accordance with Gender Politics and Victimology they then appoint women as the victims of patriarchy and perpetual oppression by menfolk in order to foment social revolution and undermine Hinduism.

    It is no doubt true that there IS oppression and subjugation of women, domestic violence and rape in Hindu society which is not being addressed with the vigour that it should be — the reasons are many and not the scope of this specific rant!

    I generally refrain from long-winded answers but this area needs urgently to be addressed. No gain is achieved by focusing on the negative, but rather promoting and broadcasting the positive injunctions of the Scriptures regarding women we can empower them and their supporters to bring about change in social attitudes and the full emancipation of women. So here we go and these quotes are by no means exhaustive there are still hundreds more like them (nothing like this can be found in the Sacred texts of the 3 Middle Eastern religions!):–

    Women in the Mahābhārata (13-81-1 — 12)

    Bhishma said, Respect, kind treatment, and everything else that is agreeable, should all be given unto the maiden whose hand is taken in marriage.

    Her father and brothers and father-in-law and husband's brothers should show her every respect and adorn her with ornaments, if they be desirous of reaping benefits, for such conduct on their part always leads to considerable happiness and advantage.

    If the wife does not like her husband or fails to gladden him, from such dislike and absence of joy, the husband can never have issue for increasing his clan.

    Women, O king, should always be worshiped and treated with affection. There where women are treated with respect, the very deities are said to be filled with joy.

    There where women are not worshiped, all acts become fruitless. If the women of a family, in consequence of the treatment they receive, grieve and shed tears, that family soon becomes extinct.

    Those houses that are cursed by women meet with destruction and ruin as if scorched by some Atharvan rite. Such houses lose their splendour. Their growth and prosperity cease. O king,

    Manu, on the eve of his departure for Heaven, made over women to the care and protection of men, saying that they are weak, that they fall an easy prey to the seductive wiles of men[1], disposed to accept the love that is offered them, and devoted to truth.

    There are others among them that are full of malice, covetous of honours, fierce in disposition, unlovable, and impervious to reason. Women, however, deserve to be honoured, so O men, show them honour.

    The righteousness (Dharma) of men depends upon women. All pleasures and enjoyments also completely depend upon them. So serve them and worship them, bend your wills before them.

    The begetting of offspring, the nursing of children already born, and the accomplishment of all acts necessary for the needs of society, all these are dependent upon women.

    By honouring women, you are sure to attain success in all your projects. In this connection a princess of the house of Janaka the ruler of the Videhas, sang a verse.

    It is this: “Women have no sacrifices ordained for them. There are no Sraddhas which they are called upon to perform. They are not required to observe any fasts. To perform their duty towards their husbands and in-laws is their only obligation. Through the discharge of that duty they succeed in conquering heaven”.

    In childhood, the father protects her. The husband protects her in youth. When she becomes old, her sons, protect her. At no period of her life should a woman be left alone.

    Women are goddesses of prosperity. The person that desires affluence should honour them. By cherishing women, O Bharata, one cherishes the goddess of prosperity herself.

    Women in the Puranas

    Glory of the Mother

    O Brahmin, he who lives to see his mother so poor and wretched lives in vain. He who full of regard for his mother protects her with devotion, gets fully rewarded in this world and the next. (Nrsimha P. 13:45

    In this world and the next, they are the best of people worthy of honour and adoration who obey their mothers. Nrsimha P. 13:46

    The highest Dharma is maintenance of the mother (Nrsimha P. 13:63)

    Status of Lakshmi

    The inconceivable energy of the Godhead can be conceived as twofold - with a female form and with a male form. The two should not be regarded as separate entities, O Lord of Birds. Garuḍa Purāṇa 3.3.16

    If the Lord did not have a female aspect, O Lord of birds, how could women be considered as His reflections. Garuḍa Purāṇa 3.3.17

    Hence the female is inseparable from the male form. These two forms constitute the very nature of the Lord. This should not be taken otherwise there is no neutrality in the Lord. Garuḍa Purāṇa 3.3.18

    The neutral form is alien to His nature. It is not present in Hari, O Lord of Birds. Know that women are the reflected form of Hari Garuḍa Purāṇa 3.3.19

    Women in Pancharatra

    A man of piety free from sin, consistently adhering to the precepts of the sacred scriptures, performs those deeds that are not condemned by women and that please them. Lakshmi Tantra 27.47

    If he observes an excellent man and an excellent woman, he should worship (in them) the divine couple, thinking of me (Lakshmi) and without relinquishing thought of their separably coupled existence. Lakshmi Tantra 27.42

    A yogin (dharma practitioner) should never abuse a woman, either in deed, speech or thought. Wherever I am the realities are, wherever I am the gods too are.

    Wherever I exist , merits too exist, wherever I exist Krsna too exists.

    I am the womanhood pervading the entire universe and inherent in all women. He who abuses women, abuses lakshmi herself, he who abuses lakshmi abuses the entire three worlds.

    He who bears ill-will against any woman, is ill-disposed towards Laksmi herself. He who is ill-disposed towards Lakshmi is ill-disposed towards the entire universe.

    He whose heart is gladdened by the sight of women - like moonlight, and who never entertains evil thoughts about them, he is most dear to me.

    Just as there is no sin whatsoever in Narayana or myself , O Indra, Neither in a cow, a brahmin nor a scholar of Vedanta.

    In the same manner no evil whatsoever exists in women O Indra. Just as the Ganga and Sarasvati (rivers) are free of impurity & sin. As also the Aruna river, so too are all women revered as being sinless.

    The fact that I, the Mother of the three Worlds, am the basis of womanhood, makes my power manifest in women. Thus a woman is the mother of the three worlds, a goddess full of abundance.

    Knowing women as my direct manifestation, how can a yogi refrain from revering them? One should never hurt women, and should never even think of wronging women.

    A yogin who wishes to attain the fulfillment of yoga, should always act to please women. He should regard all women as mothers, as goddesses as my very self.

    Lakshmī Tantra Chap 43. 62 — 72

    Equality with men

    Yea many a woman is more steady and better than the man who turns away from the Gods, and serves not. She who assists the weak and the worn, the person who thirsts and is in want; she sets her mind upon the gods. Rig Veda 5;61;6— 8:

    Sayana Comments — The wife and the husband being equal halves of one substance are equal in every respect, both should join and take equal part in all work - religious or secular.

    Purity of Women

    The Moon god has blessed women with purity; the Gandharva has blessed them with sweet speech. Fire is always pure and women are always pure. (G.P.95;19 Yajñavalkya 3:19)

    The husband should be loyal to his wife. Since women are to be well protected the husband, his brothers, father, mother or kinsmen should honour her with ornaments, clothing and food. (G.P. 95:27 Yajñavalkya 3:27)

    Only the father may be considered as fallen but never the mother. (Narada Purana 14:18)

    A woman is not defiled by a lover, (na stri dusyati jarena) nor a Brahmin by Vedic rites, nor water by urine and faeces nor fire by consuming [impure substances]. 1. (Vasistha 28:1)

    Whether she has strayed on her own or been expelled, or have suffered rape, or have fallen into the hands of robber, a woman must not be abandoned; to forsake her is not prescribed [by the sacred law]. Let him [her husband] wait until the time of her menstruation, by her temporary impurity she becomes pure. (2-3 Vasistha 28:1-3)

    Women are enjoyed first by the gods: the Moon, Gandharva and Agni and only after they go to men in accordance with the law. Therefore they cannot ever be defiled. Vasiṣṭha 28:5

    Soma granted them purity, Gandharva a sweet voice, Fire the capacity to eat anything; women there are free from all taints. (Baudhayana 2:45 Vasiṣṭha 28:6)

    Menstruation

    Women [posses] an unequalled means of purification; they never become entirely tainted. For month by month their temporary uncleanliness removes their sins. (Vasistha 28:4, Baudhāyana 2:4:4)

    Mahanirvana tantra

    The householder should never punish his wife, but should cherish her like a mother M.N.T 8:39

    By riches, clothes, love, respect and pleasing words should one’s wife be satisfied. The husband should never do anything displeasing to her. M.N.T. 8:42

    In the same manner (as a son) a daughter should be cherished and educated with great care, and then given away with money and jewels to a wise husband. M.N.T. 8:47

    O Kuleshani, a wife should not be burnt with her dead husband. Every woman is your image – you reside concealed in the forms of all women in this world. That woman who, in delusion ascends her husband’s funeral pyre shall go to hell. M.N.T. 10:79-80

    A man who rapes a woman, even if she be the wife of an outcaste (candala) should be punished with death and should never be pardoned M.N.T. 11:45

    The man who uses offensive language towards a woman, who sees the private parts of a woman who is not his wife, and laughs derisively at her, should fast for two days to purify himself. M.N.T. 11;49

    If a man speaks rudely to his wife he must fast for one day, if he beats her he must go without food for three days, and if he cause bloodshed then he must fast for seven days. M.N.T. 11:64

    [reply]

  • suyash95 22 days ago | +0 points

    Are Hindu scriptures respectful of women?

    Depends on which scriptures you read. Some are disrespectful and some are respectful - in order to treat others with respect you shouldn’t need ancient texts to guide you.

    The Hindu scriptural library is so vast you can find anything you want to find written in them. Here is a selection of verses in praise of women to contradiction to those that denigrate them.

    (Wedding blessing to the bride) Be an empress over your father-in-law, an empress over your mother-in-law, be an empress over your husband's sisters, and an empress over his brothers too. (RV.10.85.46)

    The inconceivable energy of the Godhead can be conceived as twofold - with a female form and with a male form. The two should not be regarded as separate entities, O Lord of Birds. (Garuḍa Purāṇa 3.3.16)

    Fathers, brothers, husbands and brothers-in-law who wish for great fortune should revere women and adorn them. (Manu 3:55)

    The deities delight in those places where women are revered, but where women are not revered all rites are fruitless. (Manu 3:56)

    Where the women of the family are miserable, the family is soon destroyed, but it always thrives where the women are contented. (Manu 3:57)

    Therefore men who wish to prosper should always honour women with ornaments, clothes and food at celebrations and festivals. (Manu 3:59)

    The wife must be given the responsibility by the husband of collecting and spending his wealth, engaged in maintaining cleanliness of the household, of fulfilling the religious obligations, of preparing the food. (Manu 9;11.)

    Those deluded relatives who live off a woman’s property — her carriages, her clothes, and so on are evil and go to hell. (Manu 3:52)

    A son is even (as) oneself, (such) a daughter is equal to a son; how can another (heir) take the estate, while such (an appointed daughter who is even) oneself, lives? (Manu 9:130.)

    Respect, kind treatment, and everything else that is agreeable, should all be given unto the maiden whose hand is taken in marriage. (Mbh 13-81-2)

    Women, O king, should always be worshipped and treated with affection. There, where women are treated with respect, the very deities are said to be filled with joy. (Mbh 13-81-5)

    Women are goddesses of prosperity. The person that desires affluence should honour them. By cherishing women, O Bharata, one cherishes the goddess of prosperity herself. (Mbh 13-81-15)

    The righteousness of men depends upon women. All pleasures and enjoyments also completely depend upon them. So serve them and worship them, bend your wills before them. (MBh. 13-81-10)

    A yogin (dharma practitioner) should never abuse a woman, either in deed, speech or thought. Wherever I, (Lakshmi) am the realities are, wherever I am the gods too are. (Lakshmi Tantra 27.42:62)

    He who abuses women, abuses Lakshmi herself, He who abuses Lakshmi abuses the entire three worlds. (Lakshmi Tantra 27.42:64)

    He who bears ill-will against any woman, is ill-disposed towards Laksmi herself. He who is ill-disposed towards Lakshmi is ill-disposed towards the entire universe.

    Knowing women as my (Lakshmi) direct manifestation, how can a yogi refrain from revering them? One should never hurt women, and should never even think of wronging them. (Lakshmi Tantra 27.42:71

    The householder should never punish his wife, but should cherish her like a mother. (Maha Nirvana Tantra 8:39)

    If a man speaks rudely to his wife he must fast for one day, if he beats her he must go without food for three days, and if he cause bloodshed then he must fast for seven days. (Maha Nirvana Tantra 11:64).

    The Moon god has blessed women with purity; the Gandharva has blessed them with sweet speech. Fire is always pure and women are always pure. (G.P.95;19 Yajñavalkya 3:19)

    In no world has Brahmā created a gem superior to woman (strī), whose speech, sight, touch, thought, provoke pleasurable sensations. Such a gem in the shape of a woman is the fruit of a person’s good, deeds, and from such a gem a person obtains both sons and pleasure. A woman, therefore, resembles the goddess of wealth in a family, and must be treated with respect, and all her wants must be satisfied. (Brihat Samhita 73:4)

    It appears to me that those are bad men who, out of a dislike for all things, speak ill of women, and these men are never found to speak of the virtues of women. (Brihat Samhita 73:5)

    Is there any vice with which women are not charged by men? Speak the truth. Those that reject women do so out of a stupid firmness of mind. According to Manu women possess more virtues than men. (Brihat Samhita 73:6)

    Women (strī) are exceedingly pure and are without faults. For, the menses remove their blemishes every month. (Brihat Samhita 73:9)

    Those houses will meet with ruin as if by witch-craft, which are cursed by women who are not treated with respect. (Brihat Samhita 73:10)

    The Śāstras say that a woman (strī) is both a man’s wife and mother[2], and men owe their birth to women. Those that speak ill of women, therefore, are ungrateful persons. How can you people be happy? (Brihat Samhita 73:11)

    In the eye of the Śāstras, adultery in man or woman is equally condemned. Man neglects this condemnation, while women respect it. Hence, the superiority of women over men. (Brihat Samhita 73:12)

    [reply]

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