Monday, March 8, 2010

Where women are respected - यत्र नार्यस्तु पूज्यन्ते

The divine are extremely happy where women are respected ;
where they are not, all actions (projects) are fruitless.

yatra nāryastu pūjyante ramante tatra devatāḥ|
 yatraitāstu na pūjyante sarvāstatrāphalāḥ kriyāḥ ||

yatra naaryastu puujyante ramante tatra devataaH |
yatraitaastu na puujyante sarvaastatraaphalaaH kriyaaH ||

यत्र नार्यस्तु पूज्यन्ते रमन्ते तत्र देवताः ।
यत्रैतास्तु न पूज्यन्ते सर्वास्तत्राफलाः क्रियाः ॥

Happy Women's Day!

Manusmṛiti is one of the most influential social text that has molded much of practical social behavior, practices of Hindu society in India. In the last century, it has been grossly criticized for political, sectarian and divisive reasons by people who don't understand Sanskrit, metaphors and have no compassion.

Check out the book Attitude Shift - Sanskrit Maxims for Contemporary Life and Leadership.
On woman's day, let see what this great text has to say on woman, wife. This is only a very small extract from this large book. This should at the same time pay respect to women everywhere and also give back some good name to this awesome work of social importance.

I had written the main article in response to a Times of India article last year.

  • The wise father (of the girl) shall not take anything by way of 'fee' from her groom. By taking a dowry out of greed (bride price), he becomes the seller of his offspring [3.51].
  • The relatives who, out of folly, live off of the woman's property like vehicle, clothes; those sinners go to worst hells [3.52] (forget about dowry given by the bride's father, it was more prevalent for the groom to give bride price, as is in many other cultures as well).
  • Many Ṛiṣhi-s have prescribed a token fee of a pair of cow and bull in 'ārṣha' (आर्ष) marriage, but even that is akin to selling your daughter [3.53].
  • Where such fee is not taken (but may be given out of affection by the groom's side), that is not selling, but worshiping/respecting and showing affection to the woman [3.54].
  • If desiring more prosperity in life, father, brother, husband, husband's younger brother (older is considered as father only) they all should respect the bride and adorn her (with ornaments) [3.55].
  • The divine are extremely happy where women are respected (worshiped, figuratively), where they are not, all actions (projects) are fruitless [3.56].
  • The family in which the daughters or newlywed brides mourn, that family suffers a quick destruction; and where they don't it surely prospers [3.57].
  • Those homes that these disrespected women (daughters, daughters-in-laws) cast curse upon, they are eradicated as if destroyed by (the tantric deity of black magic) Kṛityā (कृत्या) [3.58].
  • Hence, men who seek prosperity should always respect women, (and) on solemn occasions and festivals, adorn with ornaments, clothes and food [3.59].
  • The family in which the husband is content with the wife and the wife is content with the husband, is certain to have divine blessings. [this doesn't mean only sexual contentment but how the two perform their duties to the home, family, their conduct, etc. like how a wife manages the whole house, relations, children, finances etc. or how the husband protects, earns, has social reputation, standing and circle etc.] [3.60].
  • If the wife is not attractive (and/or doesn't attempt to attract with makeup etc.) and/or the husband is not attracted; the husband's progeny is not possible on that account of lack of attraction [3.61].
  • When the women look beautiful (adorn jewelry, do makeup, dress up) the whole family looks good, and when they don't everything looks insipid. [3.62]"

My eyes are misty just translating this, imagine what great benevolent people must have said it first! How practical, spiritual and open-hearted people! Salutations to such Ṛiṣhi-s, seers.

And to women all over - mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, friends, in whatever form they meet us, they bring the divine energy with them.

Now this doesn't at all mean to throw the relation off-balance by thinking it is only the woman who is divine. But it is to emphasize that they too are divine, and not property, slave or object. This also doesn't mean that all women are always right and good, just like not all men are right or good.

The women in Hindu society have always had an equal right, equal doze of respect, disrespect, suffering and showering, property and poverty as men. Equality doesn't mean exact same, it has to appropriate to the person's ability, role etc. Due to fast, external influences a millennium ago, the society became rigid in an attempt to preserve its identity, and the ill practices started to creep in. They had property rights, rights to leave and remarry, widow remarriage, marry on their own if beyond age (Chāṇakya’s Arthshāstra mentions all these explicitly)

A marriage is always of respect, and is not just for lust, it is family building, providing a happy, safe trusting environment, where both husband and wife have to be happy to complete the picture. If the husband is called pati-parameshavara i.e. "husband is ultimate god", then the wife is also called gṛiha-lakṣhmī i.e. "prosperity of the home". Only a balanced, respectful relationship will give any meaning to it.

We will discuss other great sayings about women in later posts. For now, express your respect to the women in your life, get misty eyed and tell them how much they mean to you. Yes, you can do it :) :)

Check out the book Attitude Shift - Sanskrit Maxims for Contemporary Life and Leadership.

(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।

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  1. The life of the Hindu women is so different to the loves of Australian women. I found this article both interesting and revealing.



    HATS OFF...


  3. I wish this thought is thought to young children and practiced at each home.


  4. Don't know how I missed such an excellent blog. I have noticed it today thanks to Mr. Sudhir Kumar's tweet. From now on I'll regulary check it for updates. Of course, with my rudimentary knowledge of Samskrit it will take some time for me to read so much content. Congratulations and thanks a million for the excellent work you are doing for the propagation of Samskrit knowledge.

  5. yes this is our contribution to the world.....

  6. I'm pleased to say after reading this article Now I have more respect for the women in my life

    Thank you for sharing, Keep it up pls !!!

  7. A society that does not respect its women population does not achieve anything.
    Dowry is bad.
    Hope to read more of similar stuff in future!

  8. a women should always be respected

  9. a women should always be respected

  10. excellent drive for woman...woman should respect..

  11. yes women need to respected by everyone....


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