Monthly Archives: March 2012

Understand-Women in Vedic times

Vedic Civilizations had well designed towns/cities. But the essence of the town/city/village was the temple. Usually the temple was situated on a hill or just at the center. The sannyasis usually lived near the temples; the vanaprasthas who had not yet gone to the forest to meditate or who had and returned lived in the next ring. The grahastas lived in the last ring. The grahastas not only looked after their own families but were also responsible for the vanaprastis and the sannyasis.

Inside the grahastas home too there was a well laid ‘structure’. Men looked after the earnings and the outside world. Women looked after the running of the household, children etc. But do not think that the women were not respected. Men and women had clear areas of functioning and they did their jobs well. Husband and wife usually could meet only in the late evenings. And it was not that the husband commanded and the wife obliged. No. For matters regarding the running of home like how much expenses was needed for the house etc the husband asked the wife’s opinion.

The wife on her part had full control in running of the house and had no need to ask her husband permission whether to punish her child for a mistake or what to cook for dinner. I hope you understand what I mean here. The woman had full independence in her domain. Unlike today’s society where in responsibilities are crisscrossed, there is argument, doubts and accusations, the Vedic civilization had clear cut roles for both Man and Woman.

On this women’s Day I would like to tell each one of you that Vedic civilization always respected a woman and will always respect her. Never think that you are second fiddle, never think that you are a doormat. You always were special and you will always be.



Grahasta- A marital lif. A person after completing his education then settles to a grahasta life to raise a family and earn.

Vanaprastha- A person after completing the duties of family becomes a vanaprasthi or advances to the vana or forest to search for the ultimate truth.

Sannyasa is the last ashrama of life where in a person has renounced a material life completely

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I invited my friend to the weekly Bhagvad Gita class. I expected her to say thats-she was not interested. But instead she said that she was not religious and that she was not raised that way.

‘What way’, I asked.

‘You know the religious way’, she said, ‘I mean I do light the diya mornings and evenings but that is all’.

‘Why do you light the diya and where do you light it?’, was my question.

‘You know in front of god’s photo’, was her answer.

‘Does that mean you believe in God?’

She shrugged her shoulders.


Life has become like that. We do things without understanding. Why do you light a diya because my mother too does it. When do you light the diya? After a bath. Why? Because mother said so.


Remember the multiplication tables which was drilled into us in primary school and then asked to be chanted out loud again and again whenever there was a free moment. We do our routine activities like that only.

There are two beliefs-whether you do believe in God or not.

If you do then it is not just about lighting a diya or going to a temple, try to understand a little bit more, the whys and why nots. For instance most of us celebrate Deepawali but today it has been a rhetoric of new clothes and bursting crackers but does anyone try to understand the significance of the festival. My opinion is if you don’t know then please do not make a show of it.

We also confuse between religion and spirituality. Spirituality has so much depth and religion is such a minor angle of it. But alas we cling on to minors and forget the essence.

(more in my next post)



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