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Lakshmi and the Home-maker

Discussion in 'Hinduism DIR' started by Fireside_Hindu, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. Fireside_Hindu

    Fireside_Hindu Jai Lakshmi Maa

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    At one point in time in most of the world, the role of housekeeper was treated with a sense of respect. The job of making a house into a home - creating a space where Lakshmi (wealth, bounty, comfort, family and love) could thrive was as essential as the role of bread winner. The bread winners were also Lakshmi - they brought monetary wealth and physical comfort to a home, filling stomachs and allowing for the pursuit of non-survival based activities or goals.

    Anyone can take up the banner of one of these Lakshmis .In my home (generally speaking), I take care of the house and my husband brings home most of the income.

    At some point, the role of house keeper became synonymous with female suppression. It was something to be ashamed of. To stay home and not go make money made you seem weak willed or uneducated. Certainly, being forced to stay in the home when wider aspirations abound would be cruel and wrong. But if given a choice, why is it that when one choose to stay and care for the home, it is looked down on?

    It is no longer about gender to be sure. Men can and do stay home and take care of the house while women go and earn the income. It can work either way (sometimes a couple will do both! I work from home, but manage to make enough money to pay for my art supplies - I am lucky enough to be able to pursue an "unnecessary" calling). But when we refuse to acknowledge the importance of the Home-maker, we deny a very important source of Lakshmi in our lives.

    Bringing Lakshmi to a home is about creating a space that people want to spend time in. One thing that impressed me about the poorest women of India is that even though they had dirt floors and few possessions, they would rise every morning and sweep the trash and debris from their front doors and narrow alleys. These women take pride in creating a space worth coming home to. They know they are not impressing anyone. They do it for the simple fact that it is worth doing.

    A home is where we welcome guests and family or where we celebrate and grieve. This multi-purpose space needs a caretaker, and that caretaker should be honored for the role they play in bringing Lakshmi through the door. We want to have a space people feel comfortable gathering in -a place fit for the God/ess we see in every soul that enters our homes. The difference between a lean-to and a home are the people who fill it/ care for it.

    It is not about loving house work either. I don't necessarily enjoy laundry or cleaning. However, I enjoy the comfort of a clean and organized home and I know that takes work.

    When I am sick or tired, or am gone for a few days, my husband become the Home-maker. He brings the Lakshmi. That feminine power lies within him and he is not afraid of it. He does not prevent me from seeking physical wealth outside the home either. For his own part, he works a stressful job so that we can pay loans down faster. His role deserves respect for that as well. Without it, things would be very difficult indeed.


    This was just a reflection about the nature of Lakshmi as it relates to the home and caring for the home. I often feel that with Lakshmi worship a lot of emphasis is on the obtaining of physical wealth when that is not really her primary purpose at all. Lakshmi grants wealth, for sure, but what she also does is remind us that wealth is the most useful and pleasurable when it is shared and that things like feeling loved, and cared for cannot be purchased with gold - they are built by people.
     
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  2. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I was, our kids were, and I am still very lucky to have had Lakshmi take up permanent residence in this house. She made it a home.
     
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  3. Satyamavejayanti

    Satyamavejayanti Well-Known Member

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    I think this idea of women trying to become "equal" with men is a western idea, where "men", are a standard that "Women", have to reach for. In work, Lifestyle, Clothing, speaking etc, Women are not making their own laws and customs, nor trying to be them selfs, but rather trying to live up to the standards of "Men". I think the Traditional Indian women have their own customs, values, clothing, work ethics ect which does not require them to become like men, or be equal to men's ways, but be more women and assert their individuality where they see fit, this is what my mum thinks is better, she has no intentions of trying to be "Equal", to men, or as she says, "I don't want to lower myself to your level",.
     
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  4. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    namaskaram

    to my mind in the west we have placed too much importance on equality and on financial gain , ...however if by some good fortune the woman is in the position to remain at home , this I think is due to the kindness of the husband who braves the contamination of the material world inorder to support his family .
    personaly I dont think it demeaning for a woman to be the housekeeper , it is a fortunate position as she too cares for the family deities making the house into not just a home but an ashram , a place of true shelter and of blessing to all who reside there , this is the womans Dharma , her duty to protect the family in the spiritual sence , whilst the man protects materialy , ...this way man and wife form a perfect partnership .
     
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  5. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    In our community, if the bride comes on a Thursday, the mother-in-law washes her feet with milk. That happened with my son and my wife washed my daughter-in-laws feet with milk. I cannot deny that our family has prospered after their marriage, though she has proved to be a lazy kind of Lakshmi. :)

    The story of a bride with seven mother-in-laws (six by relation, Satrangi Sasural - husband's home with seven mother-in-laws living in a combined family), on Indian TV:

    [​IMG]
     
    #5 Aupmanyav, Mar 23, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
  6. StarryNightshade

    StarryNightshade Aspiring Progressive Orthodox Jew
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  7. Fireside_Hindu

    Fireside_Hindu Jai Lakshmi Maa

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    I don't think the problem in the west is the pursuit of equality. I think the issue is that we value certain roles in society to the detriment of others. I think if the role of housekeeper (whether male or female) were considered valuable on it's own merit the struggle for equality would be partially over.

    Anytime anyone is denied the right to pursue a life they want, we are denying their value.
     
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  8. Maya3

    Maya3 Well-Known Member

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    I agree, it is not about gender. I know several households where the man is the home maker and the woman works. It depends on the couple and what they want to do.
    But there is something to be said for keeping the home nice. If you want to and can do it economically then that is wonderful. In general I think there is a lot of pressure on having a career, it is not necessarily what everyone wants.

    Maya
     
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