Can religion save women?

August 5, 2016 Written By Gorki Bora

India, today is replete with instances of crimes against women. The social mindset which has been created can often be related to patriarcha notions set deep in the scriptures. Analyzing the claims, we can conclude that these allegations can be answered (not refuted) by correct interpretations and sound knowledge. The religious perception of women had always been putting man over women. The Bible says she was made from the rib of Man and she had to be faithful to her partner always. The man who divorced his wife was condemned in Bible not because that was wrong but because that would make the woman commit ''adultery'' (Read: remarry). A man who married a woman of other Faith is not entitled to the sin of divorce since that marriage is not solemnized as per Christian scripture. The Muslims also allow the man to marry even his daughter in law (Prophet Mohammad, be peace unto him, did it by asking his “adopted son” to divorce his beautiful wife just because the former wanted to pair with her). Manu, the progenitor of mankind as per Hindu traditions, is accused to have refused to see “the weaker sex” as anything but property and the receptacle of male sperms. (For further information, refer Brahmanism and the reins on Women's Sexuality)

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One might reject such claims as being deviant, though there’s a way of expounding them so as to derive positive interpretations. Since each claim can be analysed in multiple ways, the concept shall continue to remain contested. We keep criticizing religion for being oppressive to the female gender, however if attempt is made, some instances of non-discrimination, if not women empowerment, can be discovered.

It’s always better to stick to your natural position and talk within your niche. Feeling the appropriateness of this comment, here’s the interpretation with reference to the Hindu faith.

Women are deemed a treasure to be 'protected' NOT 'dominated' for they are the core of our family and social upkeep of righteousness. The mother is the first teacher who impresses the child. Even a saint who had weaned from house holdership, should fall at the feet of his earthly mother if she calls on him or he meets her somewhere. Stree haththi (killing of the woman of the house) is a great sin like Shishu haththi(killing a child) or Brahma haththi (killing a vedic scholar) or Guru haththi(killing of the teacher).

A householder can do rituals or engage in charity only with the consent and active involvement of his spouse. Mainly the Agni samskaras start with spouse lighting the sacred fire. A widower loses the right to perform Agni samskaras like homam and yagnas. Recall why the Kings have multiple spouses - if the chief spouse is sick, pregnant or on her period, the other Queens could be involved in the rituals. Sri Ram however opted to have an image of Sita to perform the Aswameda yagna. He set a unique example that multiple queens are not a need for one committed to Eka pathni (monogamy).

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There were lot of privileges that women enjoyed, though they seem to serve the family almost like an unpaid servant. The men enjoyed entitlements to rule since they can make ruthless decisions to protect family and dharma which it was deemed that it would be difficult for the soft hearted women. But there have been Queens ruling Hindu kingdoms in the past as an exception, just as there were Rithwik women (vedic scholars)- something that was not permitted in subsequent Yugas. The rigors of vedic rituals were assumedly not needed for a woman whose duty as Griha lakshmi was more than adequate to gain the divine Grace.

Though these claims would hardly convince a rational, unbiased observer, they are important in the light of recent 'temple entry' cases. If women have been given a certain place of importance in the religion and scriptures, why should women of certain age group be denied entry in the sanctum? It's a matter of hermeneutics, interpretation by the people at the helm of religious affairs, as to how they wish to present their religion- as progressive or regressive.

 

 

Can religion save women?

August 5, 2016 Written By Gorki Bora

India, today is replete with instances of crimes against women. The social mindset which has been created can often be related to patriarcha notions set deep in the scriptures. Analyzing the claims, we can conclude that these allegations can be answered (not refuted) by correct interpretations and sound knowledge. The religious perception of women had always been putting man over women. The Bible says she was made from the rib of Man and she had to be faithful to her partner always. The man who divorced his wife was condemned in Bible not because that was wrong but because that would make the woman commit ''adultery'' (Read: remarry). A man who married a woman of other Faith is not entitled to the sin of divorce since that marriage is not solemnized as per Christian scripture. The Muslims also allow the man to marry even his daughter in law (Prophet Mohammad, be peace unto him, did it by asking his “adopted son” to divorce his beautiful wife just because the former wanted to pair with her). Manu, the progenitor of mankind as per Hindu traditions, is accused to have refused to see “the weaker sex” as anything but property and the receptacle of male sperms. (For further information, refer Brahmanism and the reins on Women's Sexuality)

Image Source

One might reject such claims as being deviant, though there’s a way of expounding them so as to derive positive interpretations. Since each claim can be analysed in multiple ways, the concept shall continue to remain contested. We keep criticizing religion for being oppressive to the female gender, however if attempt is made, some instances of non-discrimination, if not women empowerment, can be discovered.

It’s always better to stick to your natural position and talk within your niche. Feeling the appropriateness of this comment, here’s the interpretation with reference to the Hindu faith.

Women are deemed a treasure to be 'protected' NOT 'dominated' for they are the core of our family and social upkeep of righteousness. The mother is the first teacher who impresses the child. Even a saint who had weaned from house holdership, should fall at the feet of his earthly mother if she calls on him or he meets her somewhere. Stree haththi (killing of the woman of the house) is a great sin like Shishu haththi(killing a child) or Brahma haththi (killing a vedic scholar) or Guru haththi(killing of the teacher).

A householder can do rituals or engage in charity only with the consent and active involvement of his spouse. Mainly the Agni samskaras start with spouse lighting the sacred fire. A widower loses the right to perform Agni samskaras like homam and yagnas. Recall why the Kings have multiple spouses - if the chief spouse is sick, pregnant or on her period, the other Queens could be involved in the rituals. Sri Ram however opted to have an image of Sita to perform the Aswameda yagna. He set a unique example that multiple queens are not a need for one committed to Eka pathni (monogamy).

Image Source

There were lot of privileges that women enjoyed, though they seem to serve the family almost like an unpaid servant. The men enjoyed entitlements to rule since they can make ruthless decisions to protect family and dharma which it was deemed that it would be difficult for the soft hearted women. But there have been Queens ruling Hindu kingdoms in the past as an exception, just as there were Rithwik women (vedic scholars)- something that was not permitted in subsequent Yugas. The rigors of vedic rituals were assumedly not needed for a woman whose duty as Griha lakshmi was more than adequate to gain the divine Grace.

Though these claims would hardly convince a rational, unbiased observer, they are important in the light of recent 'temple entry' cases. If women have been given a certain place of importance in the religion and scriptures, why should women of certain age group be denied entry in the sanctum? It's a matter of hermeneutics, interpretation by the people at the helm of religious affairs, as to how they wish to present their religion- as progressive or regressive.

 

 

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