Author Topic: The woman and the child in Atma Vichara.  (Read 1176 times)

Subramanian.R

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The woman and the child in Atma Vichara.
« on: October 11, 2009, 03:28:51 PM »
Under Verse 5 of Sri Dakshinamurty Stotram, Sri Sankara says:
"Various pseudo-philosophers regard the body, the life-breath,
senses of perception and organs of action, fleeting cognitions
and the total non-existence as "I" (Atman).  Their power of
comprehension is comparable to that of women, children and
the blind and the dull witted...."

One may wonder as to how can Sri Sankara brackets the women
and the children together for incomprehension of the Self?
Children - Okay, they have not yet learnt much in spirituality.
But why women?  Is it all male chauvenism?

Right from Vedic and Upanishadic periods, there were in fact
women, who were self realized souls or ardent self enquirers.
We have Gargi, Maitreyi, Mandodari (Ravana's wife) and
Sabari (the old huntress in Ramayana) and Gandhari (Duryodana's
mother in Mahabharatam.  But in all times in Hindu India, perhaps
right upto British colonization, the women did not even go to
school.  The home was everything for a woman.  Making garlands
for gods, preparing sandal paste and nice mouth watering food
offerings, were the only religious or spiritual work for them!
Invariably the husband was her guru and if that guy is a rascal,
she is doomed.  Sometimes, son, yes.  Son can also help her
to attend to self enquiry, when she becomes old.  As otherwise
women had practically no exposure for spiriutal pursuits.  Sri
Sankara has to reflect the culture of his times.  For that matter,
no Jnani or a saint does say that which is not in tune with the
culture of his times

As self realized true Jnani-son, both Sri Sankara and Bhagavan
Ramana had helped their mothers to attain liberation at the
appropriate times.

Stree balandha jadopamastvahamithi pranda prucham vaadhina:

                    - Sri Dakshinamurty Stotram, Verse 5.

Arunachala Siva.