[Advaita-l] Women and Vedas

latha vidyaranya lathavidya at yahoo.co.in
Wed Apr 5 00:01:40 CDT 2006

hari om,
  below is the sentence written by sri sriram:
  "................one has to agree that Women were not eligible to recite Vedas."
  can i please suggest a small alteration in the wordings?
  it is not that women are ineligible to recite vedas; my guruji always used to tell me that women need not learn and recite vedas as they have no "rinas" to be paid back to pitris or rishis or to devas. they are a privileged class! whereas men have to pay back the pitri, rishi and deva rinas and hence must learn vedas and chant it too. when our Shruthi has extended the women such a privilege and told them that it becomes futile for women to chant vedas, we need to accept what shruthi tells us. if somebody wants to go against it and learn vedas just to prove their "equality" to men, it would be foolish and it may even boomerang!
  hari om 

sriram <srirudra at md3.vsnl.net.in> wrote:
  Dear members
If one has absolute faith in the Vedas one has to agree that Women were not eligible to recite Vedas.The why of it we have to admit honestly that we do not know.We may speculate only.We may not be able to avoid criticism on that count.We need not play a defencive role either.For e.g Lalitha Saharanamam has to be recited after purification of the body by taking bath and wearing- madi-that is dried clothes not mixed with already worn clothes.But Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam canbe recited without restrictions even while journeying.How do I know this?My father has told me like this and I accepted that.It did not occur to me to question that bidding.So as SriJaldar has pointed out one has to go by his/her family elders advice with all humility and faith in these matters.So let us accept What our Acharyas have said in interpretation that it is only for our good.This does not mean that women are inferior or they cannot get liberation etc.If out of curiosity if a woman is really
 interested to know what is in theVedas she can attend to discourses by eminent Vedic scholars.I don`t think any body would object to that.This applies to all including Brahmanas.Durimg certain religious functions our Ganabadigal used to recite relevant Vedic mantras and also give the meaning and reason why certain things have to be done in certainways only.So I think this discussion will not take us any far.Before the eyes of God all are equal.We have many instances in our puranic stories that all are equqally treated by the Almighty,whether one isa scholar or an illiterate.
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