Hindu Women

    	    	    Shubhashito Part VII
    	    	    Hindu Women

Hindu culture has behind it a profound philosophy, the Vedanta, which
is the product of a penetrating scientific study of nature and man.
Among the values the that this philosophy has placed before all
humanity, the most significant is the truth of the innate divinity of
man. Men and women and all beings are divine in their essential
nature, and men and women have been endowed by nature with the organic
capacity to inquire into and realize this great truth. Hindu culture
views all social evolutions the process of the incorporation of this
truth in to the texture of human relationships. From it are derived
the values of freedom, equality, and the dignity and and sacredness of
the human personality.

Men and women are essentially the ever-pure, ever-free, ever-illumined
Atman, the sexless Self. Associated with body and mind, this Atman
becomes conditioned as male and female. In the realization of the
manhood of man by men and the womanhood of woman by women, in the
context of the equality of the marriage relationship, Hindu culture
recognizes a significant experience of spiritual education. It points
out that there is no real independence in this sphere for either man
or woman; here, inter-dependence is the law; it alone leads to
happiness and fulfillment for both. But true inter-dependence can not
come if man is free and woman unfree...

When we study our Hindu history of the last 5000 years, we come
across many changing phases of women's status in our society. In the
beginning, in the Vedic period, it is perfect equality. Then the
feudal period came, foreign invasions came, women's freedom became
abridged. But now all that is over, that is all yesterday. When we
enter the modern period, a new situation had arisen; and it is to that
new situation that our great modern leaders pointed our attention, the
attention of both men and women, asking us to take advantage of this
great modern situation so that men and women, working together, can
rise to the highest level of self-development and self-expression.

Among the modern leaders who stood for the complete equality of men
and women, the most outstanding was Swami Vivekananda...

  " Educate your women first and leave them to themselves; then they
will tell you what reforms are necessary for them. In matters
concerning them, who are you? Liberty is the first condition of

 "To then women of this country I would say exactly what i say to the
men. Believe in India and in our Indian faith. Be strong and hopeful
and unashamed, and remember that with something to take, Hindus have
immeasurably more to give than any other people in the world."

" We should not think that we are men and women. but only that we are
human beings, born to cherish and to help one another".

		By Swami Rangathananda( extracted from "Women in the
		modern age", published by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay)

 * "This life is short, the vanities of the world are transient, but they   *
 *  alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive"      *
 *    	    	    	    	    	    	    	- Vishwa Vivek      *