I attended a spiritual discourse last week and the speaker quoted one of the most controversial age old verse by Tulsi Das:
“Dhol, gawar, shudra, pashu, nari, ye sab tadan ke adhikari”
which literally means that “ Animals, illiterates, lower castes and women deserve to be beaten or punished.”This quote has often been misused by men since ages to dominate women and it has also been used to portray the evil face of Hinduism which sanctifies the ill-treatment of women.I was a bit perplexed and wondered if it’s relevant to quote such verse in today’s times. I shared my thoughts with my spiritual mentor who gave me an entirely different perspective. This is clearly the most misunderstood verse from our scriptures.
I am not going to go into further details about the previous verse because it’s for you to think and reflect on the real meaning of the verse. I would simple quote another famous Sanskrit shloka signifying the status of women in that era, “Yatra naryastu pujyante, ramante tatra devta” which means that, “God himself inhabits the place where woman is worshipped.” This used to be the status of women in our ancient society.
Sadly women have to struggle now to find her rightful place in this male-dominated society. Their contribution is always under-estimated and their efforts always slighted.
“I do not ask for food, because I have sufficient.
I do not ask for money, because I feel contented.
But all I ask for is; Peace, love and affection across the road.”
This is what today’s women expect from the society. All men pray to Goddess (female deity) for strength, power and wealth. But have they ever pondered over the strength and potential of the female in their life? She manages all the chores in a very systematic and organized way along with her job whereas her partner enjoys a cup of coffee and newspaper after coming from the office. She has to be sincere and dedicated everywhere, be it workplace or home. Woman is endowed with immense power. Her participation in every field is changing the world in which we live by bringing new priorities and perspectives.
Power is not something people just give away. It has to be negotiated and sometimes even wrested from the powerful. So the key to success for women is not to set any limits and live the life of their dreams with respect and dignity.
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