Question on Advaita (Women in Advaita Vedanta)

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 26 16:43:24 CDT 2000

On Tue, 25 Jul 2000 11:28:42 -0700, Vivek Anand Ganesan
<v_ganesan at YAHOO.COM> wrote:

>  It is my view that compassion and consideration to others
>is as important in spiritual practice as faith, humility
>and learning.  In fact, this issue was discussed a long
>time ago ( on vedAdkikAram and MokshAdhikAram ) and
>ShrI Vidyashankar told us all to not even use a word like
>MokshAdhikAram.  Because, it has no meaning.  Moksha is not
>withheld from anyone.
>  Whatever the notions of the past may have been, I think
>should be re-evaluated in the present context ( especially
>in India where "dowry deaths" and female infanticide are
>still commonplace ).  Any tradition which condones such
>reprehensible acts ( even couched in intellectual
>sophistry ) is un-spiritual in my opinion.

 I agree.

>  Men ( especially Indian ) have always subjected their
>counterparts to exacting standards in faith, learning,
>courage and culture.  And, the women have met and exceeded
>such standards.

The problems that you mention regarding such atrocities and exploitation
of women,  are really, in my opinion, part of a bigger problem of dharma
in India. Dharma is dying a slow but horrible death as time progresses.
Even the basic sAmAnya-dharma (I tried to start a discussion on this
but there was lack of interest) is not being followed in India even
though such sAmAnya dharma is being followed to a relatively higher
degree in other countries. The bhAgavata mentions by means of symbolism
this process of decay in dharma, where dharma is symbolically
represented by a bull. Of the four legs of the bull, only one leg
remains in Kali Yuga and even that leg is weakening! What are the
four pillars of dharma? As per the bhAgavata, they are 1) satya -
truthfulness, 2) shaucha - cleanliness, 3) KShamA - forgiveness,
and 4) dayA - compassion. Again, as per the bhAgavata, the three
legs of dayA, KShamA, and shaucha have already been cut off or
only remain in a terribly weakened condition. Only the leg of
satya remains, and even that is decaying.

And the situation is only expected to get worse as KaliYuga
progresses. Now this is the general state of affairs but here and
there we find some very rare people who are still following their dharma.
It is because of the puNya of such mahAtmas and because of the puNya
of such people who lived in the past that the Indian civilization
manages to survive. Once even such people completely disappear -
the less said the better.

Where there is no dharma (not even sAmAnya dharma), there a-dharma
is bound to prevail. Wickedness, cruelty towards women and the weak,
hypocrisy, falsehood, drunken-ness, debauchery, and the like, win a
resounding victory over virtues. Is this surprising?

Note here that I am *not* blaming Kali Yuga as some fatalists do.
It is definitely possible to practice at least sAmAnya dharma, if not
more, even in the Kali Yuga. One has to have the determination to
do it. Once dharma is strong, other problems such as the ones you
mention, will automatically disappear. We need to cure the disease,
not the symptoms.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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