Saturday, March 17, 2012

Women and Religion


Why all religions and sects are created by Men, why there is no single female who created any major religion or wrote any significant religious text/scripture?

I always get this question and wonder if anyone else thinks about it or not. Why we see most of religious institutes (Temples, Churches, Mosques and many others) headed or controlled only by men? You see any major religion its messenger or creator or even person in charge today is male, WHY? Why are we afraid to give them control?

I personally believe that women are as capable as men in every aspect of life and there is no reason to believe why they couldn't write the scriptures, be messenger of God or create any religion. I think it was social structure of our society (male dominance) which suppressed their abilities and confined them to particular role and denied them their due credit.

It’s my belief that they were involved in discussion and debates when our society was more open and liberal (thousands of years ago). They must have participated when Vedas used to be debated and discussed and contributed their ideas during those times, I believe women must have contributed heavily in those debates and discussions; we just don’t have its record. But slowly as society started getting controlled more by muscle power than brain power they lost their place and that’s when men took over all the leading positions and also got the credit for that work. We twisted religious scriptures and messages, interpreted them as per our need and convenience and forced certain sections of society to live under deprived conditions, even created horrible cast system out of it. I am not talking only about Hinduism or any particular religion here; all religions are guilty of this, religions all over the world created separate cast called women. If we would have allowed it to be dynamic system (original form of religion which nobody practices today) I don’t think this would have happened.

Women were confined to home to perform household duties, produce kids. They were hailed as Mata, Devi and what not but were not allowed to cross boundaries set for them by society (males). Their role was limited to daughter, sister or mother. They were totally dependent on males for their living, safety or even existence. They were oppressed for centuries and slowly got used to it and most of them started believing in their role which was decided by male dominated society. Even in most effluent societies of the world women have to fight for centuries to get their rights, till recently they were even denied basic rights like education and voting.

It’s good to see that now they have realized their true nature and decided to come out of this cage and explore their true potential. They are openly challenging some of the restrictions put on them by age old traditions and I feel happy to see their liberation. By liberation I don’t mean external liberation (clothes, jobs, etc) but they should liberate their mind and soul. I would like to listen to their views about religion which was used by society to suppress them for ages, religion in its original form doesn’t allow any discrimination but as I said we misused it.

Today we have chance to create society without any discrimination and with equal rights to everyone. I think after long time we have reached to this point again and let’s not miss this chance again otherwise humanity will never forgive us.

Thanks for reading and your comments are welcome.

(Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing) 

12 comments:

  1. I feel that this is true that they were not givin equal oportunities but then again i feel that there is difference in the trophy of men and women if they are given free run (equal oportunity) man will gravitate towards power, dominance, showoffs and all while women will gravitate towards security, peace, longitivity of world, environment (bcocz i feel good has made us like this).. ask any women.. if she wants to rule over the world.. i doubt how many will say yes.. instead there minds i feel are made to cultivate the world rather than destroy the compititors to rule over them, which males do given the first chance.. I am not saying females don't know politis.. infact they are very good than the male counter part as they have got the emotional warheads with them.. but just there priorities and picture of teritory are different in there mind.. I feel given the oportunity they will grow in a different manner than a male given a free hand of power...
    that is the reason i personaly feel apart from whatever you have correctly observed in your realization.!!

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  2. Good analysis Suyog...my point here is give them choice and what they choose is their decision, I am fine with that but we should not decide whats good for them and restrict their choices because we (males) believe in it...if they choose with their free will and desire its fine and that's what I want to see...let them explore their true potential and their own path.

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  3. Male Chauvanists ! Sadly known as MCPs...

    We are the only(India) who firmly believe in the Female ( Ma, Janani,the Creator)The number of females goddesses is unparalleled anywhere in the world.The Place of females in our society is most exemplary but sadly only in the Temples!Male chauvinists prevail everywhere in the world irrespective of any qualifications.

    We are a bunch of hypocrites who say and believe something and 'do' something else.But surely The 'Mother' Earth is THE example of female strength and respect. My Motherland ! Maternity is Certainty! all these didn't come from nowhere..

    taking a pause ....lol

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  4. The place we have given to the female in our culture is one of the best examples of treating the female species!A mother,daughter,daughter-in-law, grand daughter,aunt,or whatever relationship called by us.. all are revered and taken care of but only for our so called "prestige" Do we really treat them that seriously?

    Goddesses in our culture are a subject of study... Sita, Parvati, The Radha and Meera ...of Lord Sri Krishna...Sharda Ma...The various incarnations of Devi...Mahalaxmi,Ma Shera Wali,Kamakhya, Annapurna,Kaali Mata, etc... etc...

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    1. http://sanatana-dharma.tripod.com/women_in_hinduism.htm

      A very nice link to understand different perspectives ..

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    2. thanks for sharing that link Vairale sir, its really good, highly recommend it. We should 'accept the truth and Reject the rest" but it seems people are doing otherwise. Lets hope our efforts will bring some change....keep on sharing your insights.

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    3. Nice link cmvairale sir. Particularly I liked the analogy of man, woman and god with triangle. My understanding of this is that their position in a triangle represents their natural qualities. Man and woman are gifted total different qualities and god is highest in quality. It is so convincing that when man and woman both try to reach to god the distance between them will obviously decrease.
      Unfortunately, in mordent time every human (man and woman) choses the shortest path, i.e. to approach each other in qualities instead of trying to reach towards god's qualities. In doing so obviously god (i means his qualities) will go away from both of them. Also the base of a triangle will be narrower which is tend to fall down easily.

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    4. Interesting analysis Vinay. I will not comment about present state of society, because we live in materialistic world and don’t think about anything unless there is any profit in it. So let me express my though about the topic itself.

      I agree with you argument that women should HAVE equal opportunity. Even religious scriptures and belief (obviously in its original form) indicated the same thing (there is a record). I will mention two examples here. 1) "Ardha-Nareshwar" form of lord Shiv. One message from this form is that both men and women HAVE equal responsibility (duties) in this world. Equal means exactly 50:50. Now when you have 50:50 partnerships, no one is major or minor, they are exactly equal. In that context, man and women have equal responsibility and rights. Unfortunately, in present time our definition of equal has changed. 2) In ramayana, hearing the news of Rama’s exile, rishi Vashishta says that during Rama’s absence Sita will run the kingdom (there is a line in ramayana about this event). Even kaikai knew that women have these capabilities. That’s why, when Kaikai planed to ask two wishes from Dasharath, her FIRST wish was a Kingdom for bharat and then second being an exile for Ram. Therefore I believe, true believer of Vedas should not have even a pinch of doubt Women’s capabilities. Only question is does one have to keep showing all his or her capabilities to everyone?

      OK, so if agreed that it all started with equality, lets see what happened along the way. Women are by nature beautiful and men are naturally attracted to beauty (at least for biological reason). Two things can happen once someone is attracted to beauty. A) He appreciates it. B) THEN (unfortunately), he tries to posses/acquire it. Nothing is wrong with appreciation since it does not affect the beauty (e.g. appreciating the beauty of sunrise or sunset). But once feeling of possession/acquiring enters in oneself, the beauty becomes a property (for example: person looks at the rose and appreciates it beauty. Once he acquires it, the though of appreciation is replaced by what is he going to do with it? Sale it for money, decorate home, please wife/GF by offering it to her etc.). Due to natural phenomena of attraction women eventually being treated as a property. To recover from this degradation of social values, thinkers said women should be worshiped (pujaniya) or respected (higher status then men). Letter generations have modified it (probably because 1st change did not work that efficiently or some other reason!!?) and called women are holy and should not be exposed to the cruel world and there comes the culture of “Burqa or Ghunghat”. Eventually we ended up into the culture that we see today and infect we see all these stages at different places of society now a days. So I think the present situation of women is a result of natural attraction and a blindly believing religious scriptures (Remember Vedas have already indicated us that we have to think, remember the reason of TILAK or TIKA?). In my opinion, the only solution the main problem is by “reestablishing the belief that both (man and women) are equally (exactly 50:50) important to the society.”
      Continue to next comment...

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    5. ...continued from previous comment

      Now let’s think about contribution of Men vs Women. To obtain efficiency in any project all participants are supposed to assign work according to their capabilities. For example, if a doctor were asked to built any machine for diagnosis or an engineer were asked to treat patients, both are likely to fail. But when both work in their own role (by respecting each others qualities and not trying to gain their qualities) patients can be cured efficiently (remember both, doctor and engineer are equally important). In real life (project), men vs women have to participate their own role according their natural qualities. Men are gifted with qualities such as physical strength and determination (to fight for survival) while women have mental strength (better understanding, sacrifice etc.), love, affection and bearing babies etc. Now in a traditional family, women take care of bearing babies (obviously because men can’t) and take care of family members (using her god gifted love and affection qualities) and the rest of the job such as to earn bread and providing shelter were assumed to be done by men. Vedant’s have very good understanding of these fact hence they constructed such system. Here we have to remember again that Vedants didn’t have even a spec of doubt about women’s capabilities but they wanted the most efficient social system. Since women have excellent understanding (mental strength is their natural gift), they never felt the need of proving their capabilities to the society. I believe that Vedant’s system was so powerful that when people followed this even without thinking about it has lived successful life (compare the divorce rate in old time vs. now)

      At the end I must say that I am not supporting the male dominated society. Women must have all the rights that man gets. Women can certainly choose to do whatever they think is suitable for them and to the society AS FAR AS THEY ARE NOT DOING IT JUST TO PROVE THEIR CAPABILITIES TO THE SOCIETY BECAUSE WOMEN’S CAPABILITIES WERE SUPPRESSED FOR LONG TIME. I think when women do men’s tasks; they will be even better in it than men because they do it with love and affection (their natural qualities). As a man only thing we should do is not to have even a pinch of doubt about women’s capabilities.

      Thank you for your patients in reading such a long comment.

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    6. Interesting analysis Nitin, but I think we cant associate some qualities with particular gender. Basically our social and family structure made females be behave and think in particular manure and males in some different way. Once we allow freedom to choose then after generations I am sure there wont be any difference between mentality of both (or all) genders (evolution and we know that it takes time).
      We all are born equal its our social upbringing teaches us to attach with certain emotional pattern based on our gender. Lets initiate that process and dream for equal, gender unbiased society where everyone can discover their true potential.

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  5. I truly agree with vinay about unbiased society, however one question that needs to be pondered is WHAT IS EQUALITY? It is human generated word. In fact there is NO equality in nature. No two species are equal nor two human beings!!
    I believe we dont have different thought about present social and family structure. I am redundant here, but the only think the society needs is THINKING of their own act (Karma theory). Once we change our thoughts the next thing would be to convey this message to others who have different thoughts (not by ordering or complaining that they are wrong but by using the ways our seers i.e. Rishi's did to built the great civilization).

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    1. you are right Nitin, equality is not only human generated word its human generated concept itself. In nature there is no equality, might is always right in nature, strong always rules over weak, there is predator and there is pray. But when our human civilization progressed we decided to protect weak, give them equal chance so that they dont entirely depend on nature and evolution to survive and thats when concept of equality originated and we practice it according to our convenience.
      You are right that we need to convey this message in democratic and civilized way..change will be slow but it will come for sure as you said examples of great seers is there to follow.

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