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Posted on: Nov 19, 2014
Women Must Lead With Their Ideals
When explaining the problems we face in everyday lives, Bhagawan would often tell us that we tend to give more importance than it is due to certain aspects of life, and ignore or demean those that are significant. This imbalance is what causes discord. Similarly in society too, a lot of the disharmony and chaos we notice can be attributed to the disregard we show to womanhood. The disrespect shown to women can no more be spoken of as a problem to be dealt with by that gender alone; it is a social issue that needs to be addressed by men and women, young and old. Unless and until we learn to respect womanhood, which is the very source of life itself, how can we respect and love our other fellow beings? Even as we as a society tend to give more importance to wealth and power, the women too have been forced to re-order their priorities. This too has led to a gradual drift from what Swami would refer to as Sthree Dharma or the primary nature and role of a woman. It is to reinstate the importance of womanhood, to remind all to respect and revere the feminine aspect and to guide women along the right path Bhagawan instituted the observance of Ladies Day, every year on 19 November. On this solemn occasion we present before you few golden words of counsel from a Divine Discourse delivered during the Ladies day of the year 1995. (Read entire discourse Here)
We should not consider the feminine principle to be ordinary. Since ancient times the feminine aspect of the Divine has been worshipped in various ways. The Veda declares that, “Where women are honoured, revered and respected, there Divinity is present with all potency”. Unfortunately today people consider it demeaning to honour women. This is a primary expression of ignorance! We should not think thus.
Sthree (Woman) is Grihalakshmi (the Goddess of prosperity for the home). She is hailed as Dharmapatni (the virtuous spouse). She is called Illalu (the mistress of the house) and Ardhaangi (the rightful half). People gloat over petty, insignificant titles like Padmasri and Padma Vibhushan conferred on them. But women have been conferred the highest titles which are valid for eternity. A home without a woman is like a forest.
Men should realise the high status of women, and honour and respect them accordingly. They should not make women weep and shed tears. A home where the woman sheds tears will be ruined. Men should therefore, as much as possible, lead their lives by giving women an honourable place and their due importance. The archetypal woman is described as Adhishakti (the primal source of all energy) having a whole array of powers.
The word Sthree is a combination of three syllables. They are the consonants, 'Sa', 'Tha and 'Ra'. Just as in the Aumkara we have 'A, U and M', in the word Sthree we have 'Sa, Tha and Ra'. First and foremost, 'Sa' signifies the Satvik nature of women. This is what leads to Salokyam (being in the same sphere of existence), Sameepyam (proximity) and Sayujyam (mergence). So it is the 'Sa' that represents the Divinity in Salokyam, Sameepyam and Sayujyam. Most women are endowed with this Satwik nature.
After which comes the 'Tha' which signifies the Tamasik quality or Tamo Guna. But this Tamasik quality is not indolence, gluttony and slothfulness. Tamo Guna includes qualities like humility, kindness, shyness and modesty. The woman in all her humility serves the cause of the family and society honour in the right spirit. There is a saying in Andhra Pradesh: 'Judge a home by its mistress.' As is the woman, so is the home.
The third and the final letter is 'Ra' which represents the Rajoguna. This does not mean pugnacity or aggression. This quality signifies the preparedness of women to even sacrifice their lives for the sake of their honour and the reputation of their family. Bharath’s history is replete with examples of women who fought valiantly and gave up their lives to protect their husbands and their honour. This is the quality of Rajo guna. To uphold the truth, they sacrifice everything; this is the main quality of Rajo guna. Hence the embodiment of Satwa, Rajas and Tamas is Sthree.
We always say that there is restlessness and discord (Ashanti) in the world. But where has this Ashanti come from? It has come from within us! On 19 November every year, pure feelings must be propagated all across the world by observing the Ladies Day. You should teach women how to run their homes well, how to conduct themselves and also how to bring up their children on right lines. Even if you happen to have a bad husband, you must conduct yourself patiently. From today, be it men or women, consider even big mistakes of others as small and insignificant; and consider your own mistakes as big ones, you will then desist from making mistakes. So this is what we must do – see always the good in others, and look for the flaws in ourselves. If you recognise the flaws in yourself, you can correct them. And seeing the good in others will also benefit you. But these days people only focus on the bad in others.
As today is a sacred day dedicated to women, they should be taught that when they transform themselves, the men too will change. Women should adopt the right path, the men will then automatically take to the right path. This is because every woman has leadership qualities. It is latent within them. So if the woman is good, the husband will also transform some day or the other.
They should develop the qualities of sympathy, compassion, love and sacrifice. Sacrifice is the greatest of all virtues. Study the lives of our great women; they portrayed the greatest virtue of peace and patience. They developed the greatest virtue, compassion. They lived with such noble qualities and pure hearts. That is the reason they are remembered till date and their names are never forgotten. I desire that you conduct yourself in a manner that will make the glory of womanhood shine, and make the society look up to you for leadership and idealism. Saying so, I bless you all and bring my discourse to a close.
Bhajan: Sathyam Jnanam anantham brahma…..
- Radio Sai Team
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