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Women In Hinduism 2

Discussion in 'Hinduism DIR' started by Satyamavejayanti, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. Satyamavejayanti

    Satyamavejayanti Well-Known Member

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    Don't know if anyone here has heard of these brave ladies, these show the strength of Hindu women.

    Kittur Rani Chennamma:
    She was the first woman independence activist of Bharat. She stood all alone with a vibrant fiery eye against the British Empire. She did not succeed in driving them away, but she did provoke many women to rise against the British rule. She was Chennamma Queen of the princely state Kittur in Karnataka. Today she is well known as Kittur Rani Chennamma.

    Chennamma tried her best to avoid war; she negotiated with Chaplin and Governor of Bombay Presidency under whose regime Kittur fell. It had no effect. Chennamma was compelled to declare war. For 12 days, the valiant Queen and her soldiers defended their fort, but as is the common trait, traitors sneaked in and mixed mud and dung in the gunpowder in the canons. The Rani was defeated (1824 CE). She was taken a prisoner and kept in the fort of Bailhongal for life. She spent her days reading holy texts and performing pooja till her death in 1829 CE.

    Rani Lakshmi Bai :
    She was born to a Maharashtrian family at Kashi (now Varanasi) in the year 18 November 1835. During her childhood, she was called by the name Manikarnika. Affectionately, her family members called her Manu.
    On 7th March 1854, the British issued a gazette dissolving the State of Jhansi. Rani Lakshmibai was enraged due to the injustice when an English officer, Major Ellis came to meet Lakshmibai. He read out the official declaration dissolving the State. The furious Rani Lakshmibai told Ellis ‘‘Meri Jhansi Nahin Doongi (I shall not part with my Jhansi)’ when he sought her permission to leave. Ellis heard her and left. Battle of 1857 The battle for freedom that started from January 1857 engulfed even Meerut on 10th May.
    On 18th June, the British attacked Gwalior from all sides. She decided to break the enemy front and go out rather than surrendering. While breaking the military front, she came across a garden. She was not riding her ‘Rajratan’ horse. The new horse started going round and round near a canal instead of jumping and crossing it. Rani Lakshmibai realized the consequences and turned back to attack the British army. She got injured, started bleeding and fell from her horse. Being in a man’s costume, the soldiers did not recognize her and left her there. The faithful servants of Rani took her to a nearby Gangadas Mutt and gave her Gangajal. She expressed her last wish that her body should not be touched by any British men and embraced a brave death. The revolutionaries all over the world, the organization of Sardar Bhagat Singh and in the end even the army of Netaji Subhashchandra Bose were inspired by the valour shown by Rani Lakshmibai. The Queen of Jhansi breathed her last at the young age of 23 years.

    Rani Durgavati of Gondwana:
    Rani Durgavati was born on October 5, 1524 in the family of famous Rajput Chandel Emperor Keerat Rai. She was born at the fort of Kalanjar (Banda,UP). Chandel Dynasty is famous in the Indian History for the defense of king Vidyadhar ,who repulsed the Muslim attacks of Mahmud Ghaznavi.
    After the death of Shershah, Sujat Khan captured the Malwa zone and was succeeded by his son Baz Bahadur in 1556 A.D. After ascending to the throne, he attacked Rani Durgavati but the attack was repulsed with heavy losses to his army. This defeat effectively silenced Baz Bahadur and the victory brought name and fame for Rani Durgavati. To fight a defensive battle, she went to Narrai situated between a hilly range on one side and two rivers Gaur and Narmada on the other side. It was an unequal battle with trained soldiers and modern weapons in multitude on one side and a few untrained soldiers with old weapons on the other side. Her Faujdar Arjun Daswas killed in the battle and Rani decided to lead the defence herself. As the enemy entered the valley, soldiers of Rani attacked them. Both sides lost some men but Rani was victorious in this battle. She chased the Mughal army and came out of the valley. At this stage Rani reviewed her strategy with her counselors. She wanted to attack the enemy in the night to enfeeble them but her lieutenants did not accept her suggestion. By next morning Asaf khan had summoned big guns. Rani rode on her elephant Sarman and came for the battle. Her son Vir Narayan also took part in this battle. He forced Mughal army to move back three times but at last he got wounded and had to retire to a safe place.

    In the course of battle Rani also got injured near her ear with an arrow. Another arrow pierced her neck and she lost her consciousness. On regaining consciousness she perceived that defeat was imminent. Her Mahout advised her to leave the battlefield but she refused and took out her dagger and killed herself. Her martyrdom day (24th June 1564) is even today commemorated as "Balidan Diwas".

    Jai to the women of Hinduism
     
    Andal likes this.
  2. Satyamavejayanti

    Satyamavejayanti Well-Known Member

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    Swami Vivekananda on women.

    Extract from an address in New York
     
    ratikala likes this.
  3. Marble

    Marble Rolling Marble

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    That's the side I dislike about Hinduism: That idea about 'purity' & that women should be 'pure'.
    I see no harm in a man offering women compliments, and I see no harm in a woman having an independent sex-life.
    But this is a cultural differnece, I think.
     
  4. Satyamavejayanti

    Satyamavejayanti Well-Known Member

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    not just women, all humans should lead pure lives, that what the Vedas say.
    And what is wrong with purity ?
     
  5. Marble

    Marble Rolling Marble

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    Purity is okay, but what is purity?
    Why is purity/impurity always connected with (womens') sexuality?
     
  6. Satyamavejayanti

    Satyamavejayanti Well-Known Member

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    Not always, traditions have the most emphasis of purity on women, but in Sanatana Dharma all have to lead a pure life. Sanatana Dharma has not only advised purity for women or their sexuality, its for every aspect of life.

    To be pure I think is to be free from any immoral or unethical characteristics as per Sanatana Dharma.
     
  7. sadhak

    sadhak New Member

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    I personally think the concept of purity no longer prevails in the Hindu society. Not only this concept but many others; in old days women used to stay away from other family members during their periods. After the 5th day's bath they could visit the temple or enter their kitchen and do other household chores. This is not the case in modern Hindu society. Morover in older days inter-caste marriages too were not permitted. If you refer the Bhagvad Gita you will find that Arjuna argues that killing the warriors(many of whom were his cousins and uncles) would lead to a sin he calls as "kulakshaya"(deterioration of his clan). He says that if the elderly in the family are killed there would be no one left to guide the youngsters on morals and values. In a typical (olden day) Hindu family the head of the family has the responsibility to impart Vedic wisdom to the others. Arjun further says that it could lead to kulasankar(kula means clan; sankar means cross breed) because women left unprotected and uncared for would be left at the mercy of others or they could turn to prostitution to earn their living. This could give rise to unwanted children. These children who don't have a father for guidance and protection would be uncivilised and unruly which will not be in the interest of the society. Unless one knows all the reasons behind the thoughts of Swami Vivekananda it would be difficult to agree with him(atleast for the westerners). The basic idea which most of the sages emphasise is that every person who aims to attain salvation must not resort to any selfish action. Every action should be for the benefit of the human society as a whole. The six feelings (lust, anger, jealousy, ego, greed, hate) force man to act in a selfish way. That is the reason the Swami disapproves a man who praises the looks of a women. The Swami believes its the lust in the mind of the man that leads him to praise a womens beauty. Especially when a man is not praising his own wife but some other lady.
     
  8. Marble

    Marble Rolling Marble

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    I never accepted the concept that a woman is unclean during menustration.
     
  9. sadhak

    sadhak New Member

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    Neither do I, but considering there were no sanitary accessories in old days they might have thought otherwise. Who knows what was the reason behind their thoughts? There might have been a valid reason known to them and unknown to us.
     
  10. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    concidder that the rivers and bathing tanks are sacred , woman adstained from mixed bathing out of decency and respect to the holy places (and others) , therefore they could take a little water for bathing but that would not be regarded as clean as regular emersion in the holy and purifying rivers .
     
  11. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee

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    There are always reasons. Whether or not someone considers it valid is up to an individual. Bathing or showering before sadhana or going to temple is pretty much a given, unless you're on a long pilgrimage, and its impractical because it's mid-day.

    Most people will say they feel more in a spiritual mood from taking a shower. A good example of an exception is body odor from the heat and work if climbing a hill temple like Palani or Tirupati or the famous Uchi Pillaiyar shrine in Trichy.

    Depending on local customs, varna, and other stuff, devotees stay away from shrines and temples after births and deaths in the family as well. This may vary from 11 to 21 to 31 days, ans occasionally as long as a year in the case of a death of a spouse.

    The reasons are often mystical in nature, and if a person isn't inclined to the mystical aspects, then it can be tossed as superstition.

    Purity of mind, not thinking violence, sexuality or any adharmic behaviour is considered detrimental to one's progress, but again, this all varies from sect to sect, person to person. If someone came to the temple I attend drunk or stoned or physically dirty or making inappropriate comments or touching, I'd certainly have no problem asking them to leave. When in Rome...
     
  12. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    dear sadhak ,

    from close association with many hindu born hindus , I would say that in vaisnava society purity is as allways a quality to be aspired to and greatly respected , allong with humility .

    of course things have changed a lot in that we have better access to bathing facilitys and privacy , which has changed things a little , in that a woman can visit the temple but she usualy stands back a little as does a woman with young children , for obvious reasons of clenliness .
    and the woman will not cook or enter the kitchen for the simple reason that if as many do , the food cooked is offered then it would not be appripriate to cook .
    this need not bee seen as a negative slur on the woman but a blessing , a little extra time to rest , read and cary out other aspects of ones sadhana . I know many who are only too happy to take things a little more easily for a few days and belive that it is good to allow the body to rest at this time . as woman we share our dutys and are only too hapy to be conciderate of one another .
    I can only imagine that swami vivekananda looked at western society and saw the effects of our lack of adherance to the principles valued in vedic society , and saw that the so called libberation the western world thinks it has acheived has its draw backs in a less ordered and more self centered society .

    interestingly enough as a westerner .....I look at many atributes of our so called advanced society as being embarasingly deluded .....thus I took up the faith I now practice , if I read swami vivekananda , I see every word as simply observable and honest truth !!!
    exactly , one should not be absorbed in self gratification , to see others as swami vivekananda describes , to see a man as a brother or son , and a woman as a mother or a sister leds to a ballenced and secure society ...and thus condusive to the equal benifit of all .

    and in all truth it is embarasing to be praised for such facile things as our youth and beauty , a polite and brotherly greeting from a man is more comfortable to receive . especialy as any true practitioner has eyes only for the lord .

    to tell the truth , I enjoyed to read this quote from swami vivekananda and read it thinking ...jai , jai ...how true :D
     
  13. Wannabe Yogi

    Wannabe Yogi New Member

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    My teacher says the same thing.
     
  14. Andal

    Andal resident hypnotist

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    I'm kind of torn about this issue. I don't know, do I feel clean during menstruation? Not particularly, even with modern convenience so I can only imagine how it was centuries ago. Even doing puja, I don't feel right about it. I don't know if it's my own biases or perhaps it's taking on too much of the culture.

    I don't think it's right to assume a woman to be impure during her cycle as this leads to all sorts of social inequalities.

    I have no problem participating in many aspects of religious life, I'm just not sure how I feel about leading during menstruation... I know this seems contradictory, I'm navigating it myself. No matter what though, women should not be discriminated against because of this. If women choose not to participate, fine. To assume that a woman is unclean because of a natural process that makes life possible, is completely wrong.

    Aum Hari Aum!
     
    zenzero likes this.
  15. zenzero

    zenzero Its only a Label

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    Friend Andal,

    You have provided a balanced perspective of how a women feels during her periods.
    It is the women who should herself decide depending on her own comfort level and not under any pressure be they of age old practices.
    One should act spontenously HERE-NOW!

    Love & rgds
     
  16. Wannabe Yogi

    Wannabe Yogi New Member

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    I think there is a double standerd in modern Hinduism like all the worlds major religions. I will not defend it. Still there are a few mitigating facts that many seem to over look:

    -There are some Hindu cultures that are Matriarchal in nature. Some of them in Nepal even practice Polyandry.

    -The feather you go back in History the less this double standerd exists.

    -There also was the Devadasi tradition in Hindu temples.

    My point is... yes, purity is important in Hinduism but it is a very big tent,
     
  17. Wannabe Yogi

    Wannabe Yogi New Member

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    At first I thought the bathing thing made no sense. Now it makes perfect sense and I feel uncomfortable not bathing before I sit.
     
  18. sadhak

    sadhak New Member

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    Menstruation though a natural pehenomenon was probably considered as a transition phase. Worship, meditation, japa are all associated with consciousness. If we look closely into the ancient Samkhya philosophy, consciousness is associated with purusa. Since a women is looked upon as manifestation of 'prakriti' and man that of 'purusa' any interaction between purusa and prakriti in this phase is prohibited. That could well be the reason why women were prohibited from visiting temples or cooking. Hindu homes have their own ishta-devtas they worship at home. So probably the women were not allowed to enter the kitchen or approach the places of worship. I am sceptical about labeling women as impure during the periods but at the same time cannot reject or accept the traditions without proper reasoning. Ironically people are aware of their traditions and follow them but don't know the reason behind. One thing i certainly know that Hindu women had no complaints about the tradition as it allowed them to keep off from the daily household chores. A Hindu joint family would have many other women who would attend to the daily chores giving each women in the family a much needed 4 day break.
     
  19. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    dear andal ,

     
  20. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee

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    I think those who are overly attached to gender, whether feeling superior, or inferior, or really different, don't really understand reincarnation as a real doctrine. Consider the 108 beads on a traditional mala. 108 lifetimes. This lifetime is but a single bead. Over the length of the mala (the 108 lifetimes) the soul takes on or inhabits, or grows around it, maybe 50-60 times as a female physical body, then another 50-60 times as a male physical body. It is the soul and it's essence that is evolving, not the body. There is no doubt a misogynist's karma will be balanced out through the eternal law of karma, helped along through reincarnation.

    Who are you, a person with gender, or a soul with no gender? Is it a soul with a body, or a body with a soul?
     
    Marble and nameless like this.
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